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Talking to men about cancer

hessomhessom Posts: 110 ✭✭✭
edited May 2020 in Carers Corner
Whether it’s your partner, father, brother, friend or family member - talking to men about cancer can be a tricky subject matter. Whilst many men feel comfortable about sharing their experiences, others really don’t. It’s important, however, that conversations are still had, as we know the journey through a cancer diagnosis can often be a lonely and isolating one. Have you any tips for tackling this subject matter? Has it been a different experience than with anyone else?


  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @Hessom

    I think that men are much less likely to talk about their cancer diagnosis than women are. I have been posting on the Live Better With Facebook site for some time and I have noticed that nearly all of the contributors are women. 

    Even more worryingly, I think that a lot of men try to ignore early symptoms of cancer and rarely discuss it as they do not want to admit to being worried and may even put off going to see a doctor. I have to put my own hand up in this respect and in waiting too long, allowed my cancer to get to stage 3 when it could have been diagnosed at stage 1 or 2. 

    Like many men, I am an enthusiastic football lover and I am delighted to see that the Sky football reporting team all wear the Prostate Cancer symbol and stage marathons and events to highlight the disease which is so common amongst older men. I guess that educating men through male dominated pastimes is a good place to start. 

    When I was diagnosed with cancer, I initially kept it from my family and friends and it was only when my wife and I were at a family party that people noticed that we were quiet and subdued. The following week, we decided to tell all and it was quite a relief to get it out in the open.  Since then, I have been very open about the side effects, both physical and mental and I constantly lecture my older male friends about the need to go to their doctor if they notice any changes and also to have regular PSA tests.  
    I think that this community is a great way to get people talking with others who know what they are going through. Although there are many different cancers, I suspect that people who have or have had cancer of any type understand each other in a way that others cannot, however loving and caring they may be. 

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