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Updated Jun 19, 2013 - 1:20 am

Get screened for cancer

What would you do if you had a mole that suddenly changed a weird color and shape? You would go to a dermatologist to make sure you do not have skin cancer. A wise move considering our climate and what must be a closer proximity to the sun than the rest of the world.

What about if you had a persistent cough that lasted for several months, started feeling fatigued and then one day coughed up blood? You would make a trip to the doctor concerned about lung cancer. Another wise move.

But what if you’re about to turn 50 or you have a history of prostate or colorectal cancer in your family? Unfortunately the answer for too many men is they will skip this screening exam because of the stigma that comes along with it. Sure, the procedure can be slightly invasive, but it’s not as bad as you imagine. The bottom line is even if the procedure were as bad as you are making it out to be in your mind, it can save your life.

Prostate and colorectal cancer, if not caught early and treated in time, are deadly. They are among the leading causes of cancer deaths for men. Like many cancers, when discovered early they can be treated and not become a life ending diagnosis.

This year if you have a family history or are turning 50, it’s time to get a prostate exam or screening for colorectal cancer. The truth is cancer screenings don’t hurt. If you’re afraid of a simple digital exam, just remember what women go through with their exams, and when they give birth. Real men know what’s going on in their bodies, and don’t stick their head in the sand. You know your loved ones want you around as long as possible. Man up, make the wise choice and take care of this now.

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