Gut Rumbles

February 10, 2004

as long as i'm on a roll

We hear more shit about breast cancer than we can recall every day and the money just keeps rolling in every year. Twice as many men die of prostate cancer every year than wimmen do of breast cancer. But tit cancer is a crisis, requiring milliions of dollars of federal funds every year. Save one tit and let 50 men die.

That's fair, isn't it? Political bullshit. How is a tit more important than my testicles?


Where do you get your statistics? The statistics that I've read said that 31,000 men would be expected to die from prostate cancer in 2002, and 39,600 women and 400 men would die from breast cancer.

So it's all about the tits, huh? Funny. The friend of mine that died last year from breast cancer didn't die from the breast removal. Or the lung removal, when it mestasized to 1 lung, and the slow suffocation when it showed up in the other. No, it was the metastasis to the brain that killed her.

Her family would have really appreciated having her with them for what should have been her natural life span. Even when she was very, very ill, she didn't go around wailing about how unfair life was. She didn't attempt to sue the doc that told her it was just a benign cyst, not to worry about it because, she said, we all make mistakes and he probably would be a lot more careful in the future. She dressed up like a clown and entertained the folks getting chemo with her.
She got her house in order and cleaned and started disposing of her things (she was an artist and a writer) to her family and friends that would appreciate them before she had to go to hospice. She outlived her diagnosis by several years.

Another thing she never, EVER complained about was funds being raised and used to fight liver cancer, or colon cancer, or malignant melanoma, or even prostate cancer.

Posted by: SwampWoman on February 10, 2004 01:14 PM

Have to disagree with you there Rob.
Several of our male friends have had prostate cancer and caught in the early stages, the chances for recovery is excellent.
One of our friends waited way too long to finally get treatment. We thought he was a gonner but he is now in remission.
To most of us women, being diagnosed with breast cancer means goodbye.

Posted by: Madonna on February 10, 2004 01:32 PM

On the other hand, here in the land of socialized medicine, women receive reports on their Pap smears from an agency. I consider that an invasion of privacy, and I'll just bet if males got "reminders" to get a prostate checkup like women do a Pap smear or breast examination, they'd flip.

Posted by: Jane on February 10, 2004 02:38 PM

Looks like cancer isn't the only thin metastasizing here. Friends seem to metastasize into trolls at the drop of a hat here.

Posted by: Rivrdog on February 10, 2004 07:29 PM

From my point of view, MY tit is more important than YOUR prostate. And I would expect you to feel that your parts are more important than mine. It just depends on your point of view, Rob.

Posted by: Robin on February 10, 2004 09:06 PM

I would much rather fondle a set of tits than your testicles.

Posted by: Denny Wilson on February 10, 2004 11:15 PM

Well I have to say that women not only get breast cancer but also cervical cancer too - so we are getting it in both of our sexual parts. Also, men get breast cancer too.

Posted by: Lori on February 10, 2004 11:47 PM

More people die of complications w/diabetes than breast cancer and AIDS combined every year and they don't get the "moolah" either. I think sufferers of breast cancer are just more organized, more willing to get the word out, men for the most part keep very quiet about prostate cancer...

Posted by: sandy on February 11, 2004 01:45 AM

Now, you're gettin' it! Men keep quieter. We endure better. We're made that way.

UNfortunately, women are just doing the same thing on a national level that they've always done at the husband-wife level: shit-disturb. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan. So, they get more money for research.

After all, you gotta kiss an ass to get a piece of it...

Do I sound bitter? Nah.

When I hear one woman stand up without being intimidated and speak out that women are getting more than their fair share, I'll change my mind. Come'on, give us a link.

When I hear of one woman being the kind of hero we've read and hear about in all kinds of situations in this country, I'll change my mind. There are so many male military heros over the past 50 years -- men who went into certain death to save comrads, to terminate an enemy position, and more. In civilian life, remember the airliner some years ago that crashed on takeoff from Washington DC Airport, and went into the river close to the 14th Street Bridge? There was a man who was a passenger, who jumped right into that winterized river, and save more lives than I can remember; he just kept bringing them to the shore. Then he quietly sank beneath the waves. More recently: "Let's Roll!"

Give me one contemporary example of a woman in a similar role. How about a link?

Then I'll change my mind.

Posted by: Norm on February 11, 2004 04:45 AM

America will never be strong like it once was because there are too many people who now think it's OK for Big Gummint to take their money 'as long as it's for a GOOD cause.'

The real debate isn't research funding of Disease X versus Disease Y, it's, "Why should ANY group be entitled to tax money?"

If there's no lawful authority behind the confiscation of the money, then it's theft. With so many agencies running amok with no Constitutional basis for existing, it's theft.

There's no shortage of good causes., but since "charity" is now involuntary, every cause's self-proclaimed parent organization is another piglet at the tax money trough. This time around the breast cancer piglet is larger than the prostate cancer piglet. Next year it will be some other cause. No one thinks to REMOVE THE TROUGH.

Posted by: Horse with no-- on February 11, 2004 05:40 AM

So this year the breast cancer piglet is larger than the prostate cancer piglet at the federal tax trough.

The problem isn't deciding which cause is more noble or needed.

The problem is there's a TAX TROUGH.

Posted by: Horse with no-- on February 11, 2004 05:44 AM

So Ponyboy -- I see you guys got that fancy Interneck thingie up there at the militia camp. You know, the one your tax dollar funds through subsidies to the telcos.

Who do you suggest pays for research on your favorite disease? Or would you rather just cancel it and return to a life expectancy similar to third world countries without a tax base.?

Private charity and business is not going to foot the bill for cancer and AIDS research -- private charities do not have the billions needed and corporate interests see little financial incentive in pouring tens of billions of dollars into research that will take a generation to recoup.

Has it dawned on you that Rob is alive today because of federally funded research initiatives? This also applies to countless thousands of others including anyone you know with the misfortune to contract a serious illness. Polio and smallpox no longer kill people in this country due to government innoculation programs.

Not everything government does is bad. Your contention that there is something illegal about taxes is absurd -- as hard as it may be for you to grasp when something is upheld by every legislator and court in the hand it is, by definition, legal. Of course, since this is America, you have the right to scribble your little screeds, protest and vote as you see fit. You have the right to refuse taxation and the right to be judged by a jury. Good luck.

Posted by: Feeding at the trough on February 11, 2004 07:38 AM

I don't even know what to do with what you just said.

Posted by: sandy on February 11, 2004 10:39 AM

The truth is outhere

Posted by: Berman Jesse on March 17, 2004 10:34 PM

Fighting among ourselves will not cure any disease. We need to take responsiblity for looking out for each other, not making ourselves out to be heros or people with other opinions to be villains.

I'm a prostate cancer survivor that is 48 and was diagnosed at age 45. In the last year, 15 of the men in our group that had metastases died.

Statistics don't lie, people manipulate them to prove their own point and that's being done here. The person that said there were twice as many prostate cancer deaths as breast cancer deaths was mistaken. The person that responed that there are estimated to be approximately 31,000 prostate cancer deaths and 39,600 breast cancer deaths (along with 400 male breast cancer deaths) is correct, but that set of statistics tells only part of the story. If you assume that those deaths show that breast cancer is more likely to lead to death and you had no other information, then that would have to be your best assumption. Madonna said in her post "being diagnosed with breast cancer means goodbye" along with telling some stories about men who caught it early and seemed to be doing well. All that information seems accurate from Madonna's perspective, but still does not tell the whole story. Herein lies the rest of the story: As our population ages, women out number men. Because of this simple fact of life, the numbers you are trying to compare are meaningless unless you know how many men and women are in the population that the numbers 31,000 and 39,600 are drawn from. When these population numbers by sex are added into the mix, any given man in the population and any given woman have almost the identical chance of dying from their respective diseases. It's a myth that prostate cancer is less lethal to the male population than breast cancer is to the female population. One situation the tends to give credence to the myth is that men have a better early warning system. They have the PSA test. Women do not currently have a reliable blood cancer marker test that is widely used. Because of this, men tend to be told earlier in their disease (if they get tested, c'mon guys, get tested!) and this makes it seem that prostate cancer patients always have slower growing tumors. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Our early warning system skews the whole perception or prostate vs. breast cancer progression.

Either way, both are horrendous diseases that can litterally take your life away from you before you know it.

Some people here mentioned that men tend to keep quiet about their disease and women tend to let everyone know about their disease. That is right on the money; although men very recently are now starting to be better activists like their women friends and they too are starting to communicate better with others about their disease. This is resulting in better funding as well. You can't fund what you don't know about and men have learned this valuable insight from their women friends.

Tits and Penises: Well, I guess this is a crude way to talk about our sexuality and what makes us human. I think few men realize how difficult it is for a woman to have her breasts removed. It's like taking away her femininity in the same way many of the treatments take away our manhood. While most men understand the physical act of removing a breast(s), few understand the psychological trauma associated with this life changing event. Other the other side of the coin, very few women understand that not all surgeries for prostate cancer can spare the nerve that transmits the signal to get an erection. In addition, when men have radiation treatments, they won't know if they will be unable to get an erection for up to 3 years. This is due to the fact that radiating the prostate can also cause narrowing of the blood vessels that fill with blood during an erection. Both these therapies can virtually end your sex life and the feeling you share with your wife or intimate partner. On top of that, many men (myself included) are now taking hormone blockade therapy where one drug stops the body from producing testosterone and the other blocks the testosterone receptor on the cancer cell from receiving any of the testosterone that is left in the body. During this process, most men have very little to no sex drive at all. A typical man has a testosterone level of 300-800 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter). During hormone blockade, this will usually drop down to approximately castrate level which is around 20 ng/dl. That's one heck of a difference and the brain of the male now thinks it's in a female. During this time of treatment (that usually lasts 12-24 months) even thin physically fit men of only 150 pounds or so (skinny little guys) will gain from 10-20 pounds of fat. They will lose muscle mass from their upper body and have a layer of fat deposited just under the skin. Their face will look puffy or less angular. Also during this time, the man will not have enough estrogen to keep his bones strong. His body uses testosterone to produce estrogen. His skeleton uses the estrogen in turn to keep his skeleton strong. This is where the medical establishment has failed many men, they don't get bisphosphonates (fosomax, aredia or zometa). Women also are not getting bisphosphonates to the extent that they should. These classes of drugs can strenghen the skeleton and we believe (we need even more research on this) can either slow down or stop (depending on the severity of the cancer) the cancer from migrating to the bone. As bisphosphonates go, fosomax is the weakest and zometa is the strongest. fosomax (made by merck) is a pill and zometa (made by novartis) is given every 3-4 weeks intraveneously. If you have metastases from prostate cancer, the FDA has approved zometa for this use. You absolutely must be on this drug if you have metastatic prostate cancer (a positive bone scan showing lesions on your bones). Soon this drug may be approved for use in men whose cancer has not yet metastisized in order to prevent it from metastisizing (going to the bone). For more info on prostate cancer go to (national prostate cancer support group) and For accurate cancer statistics go to

The long and the short of this is that we need to help each other in any way we can. Each of us feels pain and suffering in a similar manner regardless of the disease we have.

Posted by: PC Survivor on March 23, 2004 01:05 PM

Describing is not knowing.

Posted by: Osner Miriam on May 2, 2004 04:28 PM

A room without books is like a body without a soul.

Posted by: Schinder Neal on May 3, 2004 03:55 AM

Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.

Posted by: Poler Emily on May 20, 2004 06:56 AM
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