I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Men are getting shortchanged ~ Gender specific health problems

Monday, November 17, 2008 Men are getting shortchanged By Bill Taylor Monday, November 17, 2008 It seems to me that we, as a nation, are increasingly becoming divided into different groups or categories. We find splits between those who live in large cities and those who live in small towns and rural areas, folks who believe they should control how their income is spent and those who think the government should redistribute earnings among those who work and those who don’t - and, well, you get the idea. One such division recently surfaced once again - but it wasn’t easily recognized by most. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month where there is a lot of publicity including TV spots, marches, newspaper ads, pink ribbons, pink T-shirts, and all sorts of activity to highlight this form of cancer - and to raise millions of dollars in the fight for its detection and cure. This highly commendable effort illustrates the concern of our nation for those who are inflicted with this deadly, gender specific disease. (There are a very few, very rare, cases in which males develop breast cancer, but Breast Cancer Awareness Month addresses only breast cancer in women.) OK, so what does this have to do with these divisions - the separation into different groups or categories? Simple - men also suffer from a deadly, gender specific disease - it’s prostate cancer. So some men are now starting to ask, “Where’s prostate cancer awareness month - or week, or even day? Where’s a postage stamp to raise money for prostate cancer research - the breast cancer awareness one raised over $50 million? Where are the marches, the T-shirts, the TV spots? In short, why doesn’t anyone care about the guys?” Part of the answer lies in the “everybody knows” body of knowledge. Everybody knows that prostate cancer is neither as prevalent nor as deadly as breast cancer, right? Furthermore, those who have prostate cancer will likely die from something else before they die of prostate cancer. Well, according to the latest figures I have seen from the American Cancer Society, the incidence rate per 100,000 people is 135.2 for breast cancer but is 172.3 for prostate cancer. That’s about 27.5% higher for prostate cancer. Oops! Furthermore, the death rate per 100,000 people is 27 for breast cancer, but is 32 per 100,000 for prostate cancer. That’s about 18.5% higher. Double oops! How about one more statistic? The last estimate that I have seen shows that among new cancer cases (excluding non-melanoma cell skin cancers), prostate cancer is projected to be the most common cancer in the country - outstripping both breast cancer and lung and bronchial cancer. Is there such as thing as triple oops? Prostate cancer is the only cancer that doctors not only debate how to treat - sometimes leaving the decision to the patient - but are also are in disagreement about whether to treat it at all even though it kills at a higher rate than breast cancer. One reason is that cancer specialists admit they don’t understand what causes prostate cancer. Sounds like a good candidate for research, right? Well, according to the last figures I have seen, government spending on breast cancer research is 180% of that for prostate cancer. As for clinical trials involving newer ways to defeat the cancers, the number of those involving breast cancer patients is four times that of prostate cancer victims. Kinda makes a guy wonder, doesn’t it? I must admit that I am a bit prejudiced on this subject because I’m a prostate cancer survivor - so far. Regardless, the facts remain - in contrast to the magnificent effort we are making on the behalf of women’s breast cancer, we, as a nation, are shortchanging this male-specific killer. Some fund raisers or increase in research dollars would be nice. Do you suppose we could squeeze out a prostate cancer awareness week somewhere amidst all the other “awareness” celebrations? Not likely - although February 29th might be considered appropriate. Nope, this concern will continue to be largely ignored along with other male-oriented issues - such as men as victims of domestic violence - and, as usual, the guys will be expected to “take it like a man” and get used to it. At least that’s how it seems to me. Bill Taylor may be contacted at solie1@juno.com.

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