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: Posts on “Men’s Health”

Life Expectancy Gender Differences & Their Significance

A quick note. This article is a pretty vile form of anti-male sexism. Take one example. The fact that women live longer than men is used as support that women are stronger, better and superior than men? I guess the fact that Africans have lower life expectancy than Europeans is proof that Europeans are superior? Or could it be that in both cases there are other factors. Perhaps if we had the same level of government funded healthcare programs and initiatives for men’s health as we do for women we’d see some differences. No one can point to such an article and suggest there aren’t forms of radical feminism

Men’s Health Issues: A Special Episode Featuring the Safeway Father’s Day Walk/Run for Prostate Cancer of 2009 (Pendulum Effect Episode 13)

“What we’re trying to do at Proste Cancer Canada…is to get people interested in the disease, get men interested in their own health, interested in their own prostate health, at the same time raising funds for research and making it a serious health issue”

-Greg Sarney, VP of Development, Prostate Cancer Canada

On June 21 Father’s Day 2009, Prostate Cancer Canada coordinated walks and runs across the nation in the cities of Halifax, Toronto, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kamloops and Victoria BC and London On

The Safeway Father’s Day Walk/Run for prostate cancer of 2009, sponsored by BOOST, One a day, the running room, and Air Canada, among other admirable companies, was the most successful yet. Over 6500 walks and runners – including many prostate cancer survivors and their families and friends – tied em up for men, raising over 1 million dollars in aid in the prevention and cure of prostate cancer.

What an exciting event to be a part of.

We’ve talked quite a bit about men’s health on the Pendulum Effect but we haven’t yet had on a professional representing a major organization dedicated to the advancement of a men’s health issue. So I’m really excited to welcome to the show Greg Sarney, Vice President of Prostate Cancer Canada. the largest foundation in the country dedicated to all aspects of prostate cancer outreach – public education, fundraising and research.

Greg is responsible for engaging Canadians through major giving

program and developing partnerships with philanthropically minded companies. He also leads the development of Prostate Cancer Canada’s annual Movember campaign, where men are encouraged to grow moustaches to raise funds, he manages the foundation’s government relations activities and works with their Scientific & Medical Advisory Committee to guide he growth of research program. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Greg previously worked in public relations for Harlequin Enterprises before moving to the not-for-profit sector as Director of Marketing & Communications for Sunnybrook Foundation. The Pendulum Effect hosted a team at the event in Toronto.

More information – including photos from each city’s walk -can be found at http://www.fathersdayrun.ca/

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A female men’s advocate: “I cannot in good conscience refer to myself as ‘the victim'”

A really terrific and rare editorial in the Alliston Herald called “Who’s Fighting for Men’s Rights” by divorcee turned father’s and men’s right activist Paulette MacDonald. No, I didn’t get that wrong. Not Paul – but Paulette. How refreshing to see that some women who have been through the divorce system in our country understand how biased and sexist it truly is. As she summarizes her experience:

My first trip to the lawyer after getting separated was like a trip to a first class financial buffet. Behind closed doors the plan was laid out at my fee. On the menu was child support, spousal support, pensions, extraordinary expenses, education costs and the list went on. It was all there and ripe for the picking.

A woman seeking a vendetta against her husband could financially and emotionally ruin him completely, in her opinion. Ms. MacDonald goes further, stating:

This family law system is a joke. It should have been called the Flawed Family Law System. In my opinion, this is a predatory system in which women use the divorce laws as a legalized vehicle for harassment against men.

This true equalist actually took it upon herself to get involved in men’s activism.

I have been in touch with several men’s groups in Canada and I am a proud member of Fathers 4 Justice Canada. I have read literally hundreds of e-mails from men reaching their hands out of the gutters of life to simply come up to a living standard that you and your other female activists would call hell on earth.

We see men all the time unable to stop themselves from shifting any men’s issue back to women in the belief that protecting women – even at their own expense – is a form of progress, when in fact it’s just another form of the sort of chivalry that has characterized our species since it first emerged.

I mention Male Genital Mutilation, and I’m told any focus on men seeks to legitimize Female Genital Mutilation, which is orders of magnitude worse (I suppose I am naive to think ANY unnecessary brutalization of an infant ought to be opposed with vigour). I mention violence against men, and I’m told we can’t setup shelters for abused men until ever single abused women has a place to go. I mention increasing funding to prostate cancer and in response men demand proof that prostate cancer really requires the level of funding of women’s health issues like breast cancer.

But this woman – Paulette MacDonald – takes the very opposite approach. A female men’s right advocate. From various facebook discussions I have started I know she’s not the only one. All I can say is thank you for “getting it”:

I am not here to wave the female activists’ banner, because much to their dismay I cannot in good conscience refer to myself as “the victim”.

This article – and several others in the broad domain of men’s issues – will be discussed in the new news segment on the Pendulum Effect podcast episode to be released this Friday

Successful prostate cancer vaccine brings out men’s groups

This is excellent news for men: Company says prostate cancer vaccine shows promise

To summarize the findings

those treated with the vaccine lived an average of 4 1/2 months longer than those given dummy treatments. After three years, survival was 34 per cent in the vaccine group and only 11 per cent in the other.

I’m a little suspicious of whether the sample size was large enough but assuming for the moment it was this is very exciting indeed. And it’s exciting for everyone, in a a manner that shows that we’re really missing the boat by not better funding prostate cancer research.

Provenge is not like traditional vaccines that prevent disease. It’s a so-called therapeutic vaccine that treats cancer by training the immune system to fight tumours. If approved, Provenge would be the first such treatment on the market.

“This is an exciting result, demonstrating that harnessing a patient’s own immune system can successfully attack prostate cancer,” said Dr. Eric Small, cancer specialist at the University of California at San Francisco. “Now we have more confidence that the initial results we saw were real.”

Provenge is a treatment that is customized for each patient. Doctors collect specialized cells from each patient’s blood. Those cells help the immune system recognize cancer as a threat, much as it would germs that enter the body.

In other words, in finding a treatment for prostate cancer researchers are in fact embarking on a new paradigm in cancer treatment that could be of even wider applicability.

Here’s another interesting element to the article. When the FDA originally delayed approving the vaccine in question:

The decision sparked protests from men’s groups and cancer advocates because the vaccine did prolong survival, which they considered a more important result.

Men’s groups!? Good to know there are men’s groups out there that are at least readily to mobilize on health issues. Health issues – and the poor funding in men’s health – are undoubtedly one of the leading reasons we need a men’s movement.

For more information on projects to raise money for prostate cancer visit an older post

Help Fight Prostate Cancer, Men’s Second Leading Cause of Death

The website for the prostate fundraising charity the Movember Foundation of Canada reads:

Which ever way we look at it, men are far less healthy than women. The average life expectancy for men is five years less than females. The obvious question is why?

Men lack awareness about the very real health issue they face. Many feel they have to be tough – “a real man” – and are reluctant to see a doctor about an illness or to go for regular medical check ups.

The aim of Movember is to change this attitude. Make men’s health fun by putting the moustache back on the face of Canadian men and raising some serious funds for prostate cancer.

Every year around 24,700 Canadian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 4,300 die of the disease, making it the number one cancer threat to Canadian men.

EqualismActivism and the Pendulum Effect team has decided to make prostate cancer fundraising and awareness our next priority by getting involved with some outstanding organizations and initiatives. The first organization, Movember, may at first sound rather outlandish, but has a tremendously important mandate, which it furthers every November:

The Movember event creates awareness around men’s health issues and raises funds for carefully selected beneficiary partners (that are also charitable organizations) in each country, with a focus on prostate cancer.

Since its inception as a formal charity in 2004, Movember has raised over $29 million (CAD) globally and is continuously working to increase awareness of prostate cancer within the community and change the attitude men have about their health.

Other charities take a more mainstream approach, including two big walks for prostate cancer each year.

Firstly, in its 31st year, the Harry Rosen walk – 5k or 8k – which takes place April 4, 2009 and is organized by the men’s clothing store. The walk takes place in Vancouver and Toronto, with donations from the Toronto eventgoing to the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Secondly, there exists the Fathers Day Safeway run/walk on June 15, 2009, which takes place at cities across Canada (Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Kamloops, Kelowna and Metro Vancouver). Last year 4,000 participants raised just under $1 million.

Most of these charities raise funds that are directed to the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada, whose mission is

to raise funds for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of prostate cancer by engaging Canadians through awareness, education, and advocacy.

It is in fact the leading national organization dedicated exclusively to fighting prostate cancer, which is the leading cancer to hit Canadian men, with 1 in 7 getting it during their life. If you want to get involved with us in supporting any of these organizations please contact justin.trottier@gmail.com

If you know of any other important events and organizations supporting prostate cancer in one way or another or if you have some unique idea for a new initiative please provide those here. Agree or not with the more controversial posts on this blog, prostate cancer is a Men’s Issue of immense importance and one which is rarely the focus of health awareness campaigns despite it being one of the leading killers of human beings on this planet and one that is growing at an alarming rate compared to other health issues.