November has become a big month for men’s health awareness (and a bad month for barbers) thanks to campaigns such as Movember and No Shave November. And despite a recent study suggesting that #Movember in particular may not increase the numbers of men going online to research the test for prostate cancer, funds are raised and the buzz is loud, meaning more people are paying attention to such issues.
Many of the male survivors featured on SurvivorNet have discussed their attitudes toward their health, with some saying that before they were diagnosed, they were somewhat lackadaisical about seeing their doctors. Others have discussed feeling shameful about their diagnoses, as well as their new-found passion in spreading awareness.Read More
1. Tripp Hornick – Testicular Cancer Survivor
Tripp Hornick was diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was a 21-year-old college student. He told us that shame is a topic that often comes up when someone is dealing with cancer — especially testicular cancer.
Tripp said that he thinks men going through cancer can learn a lot from what women go through with breast cancer, and stressed that losing a very personal body part doesn’t mean you lose a part of who you are. Tripp emerged from his experience with an extremely positive message: Do not be a victim.
“What you accomplish is what cures any shame,” Tripp said, and there’s no reason you can’t go on to live a happy and fulfilling life.
2. Todd Rosebluth – Testicular Cancer Survivor
Todd Rosenbluth was one of those guys who avoided the doctor at all costs.
“I think I was cocky. I worked out constantly, I ate great, did my share of drinking, and I thought I’d just be fine,” Todd told SurvivorNet.
“Going to the doctor meant typically … don’t go. I don’t know the main reason. Women always go. Maybe it’s [men] don’t want to have their testicles checked.”
It wasn’t until Todd met his wife and she pretty much forced him that he began getting regular check ups.
“My wife definitely saved my life,” Todd said. “Luckily, when I caught the testicular cancer it was so early that I’m totally fine to this day, and it’s because of her. Testicular cancer is 99 percent curable if it’s caught early enough — and the only way to catch it is a self exam, or go to the doctor.”
3. Michael Singer – Male Breast Cancer Survivor
Michael Singer said people have a hard time connecting his motorcycle-riding lifestyle with breast cancer. A lot of men tend to ignore symptoms such as lumps in their breasts, feeling too embarrassed to go to the doctor for something they think of as a “woman’s disease,” he told SurvivorNet. A breast cancer survivor himself, Michael advocates to change that attitude. Men can get breast cancer, he said, and men can die of breast cancer, too.
Michael goes to car shows and other events to advocate for men’s health, he said; he even got involved with the National Breast Cancer Coalition. He and his wife also lobby Congress every year to ask for more funding for the National Cancer Institute.
“To me it’s all about awareness and education,” Michael said. “Guys, if you find a lump, get it checked!”