It’s Movember – that wonderfully fuzzy time of year when men everywhere grow out their facial hair to build awareness for men’s health and ultimately ruin Thanksgiving Day family photographs. It has also been dubbed No-Shave November and No-Sex November.
It began in Australia in 2004 and has quickly grown around the entire face of the globe. In its truest form, men grow a stand-alone mustache to trumpet the cause, but over the years it has spread to include other forms of facial follicles as well. This change was made at the request of a coalition of wives, girlfriends and Child Protective Services.
The cornerstone of the Movember movement is prostate cancer. Which I guess is fitting, coming from The Land Down Under.
Here are some facts:
– 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
– 30,000 men will die from it this year in the U.S. alone.
– A man is 35% more likely to have prostate cancer than a woman is to have breast cancer.
– A man in 100% more likely to have prostate cancer than a woman is to have prostate cancer.
Pretty scary stuff, right? The problem is the actual procedure of getting the prostate checked out. It doesn’t take a genius to surmise a man’s reluctance. You see, it kinda involves a finger in the hiney-hole. And most guys are generally adverse to this sort of thing. And, even if you’re the type of fella who mildly enjoys the occasional stinky pinky – a medical and clinical prod ‘n poke wouldn’t be all that wonderful anyway. So, basically we avoid it like the butt-dentist.
The prostate is a donut-shaped gland that creates goop to protect your sperm. So, why should I care since I just had a vasectomy and don’t really need a sperm security system? Well, the real pickle in the pooper occurs when the prostate gets all messed up and inflamed. Then, it gets in the way of important stuff like peeing, ejaculating and getting a big ‘ol erection. Oh, and then it can kill you. In the butthole.
Anyway, I got myself checked earlier this year. So, if you’re wondering what to expect, here are some basics:
• Prostate exams are performed by Urologists, Oncologists and some questionably qualified Primary Care Physicians.
• Unfortunately, these doctors are not listed by ring-size. I mean, the last thing anybody wants is Dr. Dikembe Mutombo waiting on the other side of that door. You’ll just have to get a referral or risk it. I was lucky. I got Dr. Tyrion Lannister.
• Eat some cabbage, drink some coffee and read a newspaper. Just make sure you drop a deuce before you go. The more stuff in the way, the more time he will need to spend fiddling around down there. Besides, this is the last guy you want angry.
• The waiting room will be filled with a lot of old men with yummy colostomy bags. Don’t run away. Let it be motivation.
• Dr. Jellyfinger has heard all your rectum jokes before. Don’t embarrass yourself.
• The preferred stance is leaning over with your elbows on the table, pointing your knees and toes inward.
• Dr. Manicure will put on rubber gloves and scoop his finger through a tub of industrial fart jelly.
• He will then tell you to relax and breathe easy. And then this happens:
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that this is fun. It’s uncomfortable – both physically and emotionally. The best thing I can say is that it doesn’t last very long. The finger goes in, swirls and twirls around a bit, and then focusses on the prostate itself. And trust me, you will know exactly when he starts mashing on your prostate. It has a feeling all its own. Try not to clinch.
Before you know it, Dr. Butter Finger will be popping off his glove and pointing you to the bathroom. It is in this porcelain fortress-of-solitude that you will be left to shamefully clean up and feel sorry for yourself. If you need to cry, this is the place. Just be careful which tissue you use.
Is it a good time? No.
Is it worth it? You bet your ass.
When detected and treated early, prostate cancer has a whopping 97% success rate. That means, if everybody went out and got checked and fixed in time, that ridiculous number of 30,000 U.S. butt-death victims-per-year would go down to only 900 U.S. butt-death victims-per-year. And instead of 1-in-6 men walking around with prostate cancer, there would only be 1 in 200.
So, go get checked out. Especially if you’re over 50. Because if you think another man’s finger in your farter is absolutely terrifying, it’s nothing compared the painful and bloody anal alternatives. Seriously.
Oh. And grow a mustache.