Friday, 17 July 2009

Preventative medicine

I admit, I have been putting it off. Here in France, once you reach the age of 50, you are automatically enrolled into their anti-bowel cancer programme. Once every two years, you get a little kit of sticks onto which you are supposed to put a stool sample. These get sent off for analysis, and they tell you if you have a possible problem or not.

It's a smelly and unpleasant process. You have to shit into a pot, take two samples, one from each end, over a period of three days. During this time you are not supposed to eat black pudding (a blood-based sausage) nor take vitamine C. I have done this procedure once before, two years ago, but this time the kit has sat in my action tray for about three weeks, while I procrastinate.

Given how much better an early diagnosis is than a late one, for all concerned, I really must get up off my metaphorical backside (as it were) and do it. I should be grateful, really.


Tim Trent said...

Far too many men are shy of talking to the doctor about "personal things", so we leave willies and bottoms and other dangly bits to wither and fall off before we take to the quack about them.

I have a friend who has just celebrated his 5th anniversary of bowel cancer treatment. He is free of it.

But do you KNOW how to examine your testicles for cancer? Do you know that men get breast cancer, too?

We have a friend who has a number of highly questionable moles. Will she go back to the doctor with them? No she will not. She has so many small things wrong with her that she doesn't know which to deal with first. She asked me.

"The one that is going to kill you!"

Not just men, then.

But women have always had intrusive procedures done on them. They're used to the doctor getting the miner's helmet and safety lamp and diving right in. We guys squirm at the thought of a prostate examination!

Get over it! The prostate is very handy to have in working order. So bend over and let the doc ease a finger up your bum. If you watch Road Trip you might realise it can even be fun!

While the doc is there, get them to have a squidge of the testicles and check out the willy. And then show you how to examine your man-boobs.

I'm really glad you made this post.

Anyway, what's a bit of poop except used food?

Jonathan said...

My partner is a shiatsu practitioner and is immersed in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The large intestine is associated with letting go, unsurprisingly. By resisting the procedure you are 'holding on' and probably increasing the chances of developing a problem in that area.
Take all that with a pinch of salt if you like but get on and get it over with. You'll feel a sense of relief at least.

ReedBunting said...

A good friend of mine has just been operated on for suspected bowel cancer. He was in terrible pain before the operation and could barely eat; all that could probably have been avoided if they had tests like this in the UK. So good for you, it's unpleasant but could be so much worse.

Tim Trent said...

You got me thinking about men's health. This is a message that should be spread. So I've blogged about it myself with a link here.

I think men are far too shy and stupid about their health, and need to be made far more aware of what to check for.

If all visitors her and to my blog spread it to a few friends and get them to do the same we may even save a life.

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