It almost seems like an overworked adage: that a man will drive around town for an hour, or stay on a highway for miles past the exit, rather than stop and ask for directions. But there’s a lot of truth to it. Asking for help is a sign of weakness, and men, despite all of society’s (and women’s) efforts to make them more sensitive, like to appear strong and in control.
Health care professionals find that this tendency extends to asking for guidance on medical issues as well. Evelyn, a nurse in a major New York hospital, frequently encounters what she calls the Suffer In Silence syndrome. “Some men will lie there in pain for hours before pushing the call button for help. But that’s my job— I’m here to help!”
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, originally conceived to increase public consciousness about the most common form of cancer found in men. One in six men will find out during his lifetime that he has it. Each year 242,000 men are diagnosed with the cancer, located in a walnut-sized organ below the bladder and in front of the rectum. If caught early, thanks to increasingly sensitive screening methods and advanced treatment techniques, prostate cancer is highly treatable. Most men who have prostate cancer will eventually die of something else.
Yet, even though we’re in the middle of September, you hardly hear any talk about Prostate Cancer. Why? Because men are not really that eager to talk about it.
A colleague whose husband had a prostatectomy several years ago at a top cancer hospital was amazed at the conversation that took place on the hospital ward in which he stayed while recovering. “There were 5 or 6 men on the floor who had all had the same surgery. They talked with each other about sports, the stock market, and politics, but when the topic of the illness was raised by a wife or caregiver, one of the patients would invariably change the subject. Many men have a hard time expressing feelings, especially of fear and anxiety, which cancer definitely evokes.”
Two of the reasons men change the subject are the incontinence and impotence that often result from prostate cancer treatment. It’s tough enough to receive the diagnosis of prostate cancer and then have to navigate the often overwhelming roadmap of treatment options (surgery, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, “watchful waiting,” hormonal therapy, and/or radiation, etc.) Add to that issues involving lifestyle and dignity, and for many men it’s almost too much to bear. Guys might ask each other for advice on the best doctor, but few will ask what to do about post-surgical urinary leakage, or how to get their sexual functioning back on track.
We developed the Prostate BFFLBag® to make surgery and post-surgical treatment easier for men.
The bag can be purchased by a friend or loved one and given to the patient prior to admittance to the hospital.
It contains everything he’ll need for wound care, personal hygiene and comfort, such as: our exclusive axilla·pilla® bracing pillow for abdominal support; a mechanical grabber for hard-to-reach items; incontinence pads with plastic “newspaper” disposal bags; and much, much more. It will help him get back to normal life quickly and with dignity.
Refills of BFFLBag® contents can be purchased discreetly and easily on our website.
Buying a BFFLBag® also helps others – 15% of sales proceeds go to a cause-related charity.
If you have a friend or family member facing prostate cancer surgery, show your support and understanding with the Prostate BFFLBag®.
He’ll really appreciate it – even if he won’t talk about it.