As I noted over on Scalzi's blog, I never was a big of Dan Fogelberg's music.
I didn't have anything against the guy or his music, it's just that I tend to avoid melancholy soft rock. It's just not my thing. On the other hand, his music virtually defined a certain genre of music and it can't be denied that he was wildly popular - so I'm obviously in the minority here.
Whether you are a fan of his music or not, Fogelberg's death should serve as a wake up call for all men. He died of prostate cancer, the second leading cause of death amongst American men - right after lung cancer. And the real tragedy is that prostate cancer is eminently treatable if detected early.
Unlike other forms of cancer, prostate can manifest almost no symptoms and go undetected for years - until it metastasizes and becomes almost 100% fatal. My maternal grandfather had it, though he died of something else. My paternal grandfather had it, and it killed him. My dad has it right now. There's a fairly good probability that I'll develop it eventually.
If you're male and over 30, get a digital prostate exam at least every two or three years. Sure it's uncomfortable, even humiliating, so what? It only takes a minute and it beats the hell out of, oh, lingering death. If you're over 40, get one every year. If you're over 50, get a PSA blood test every year in addition to the digital exam. Overkill you say? Go back to the stats, prostate cancer is the second leading disease cause of death amongst men in the US. It killed Fogelberg at 56. Overkill? No, not really. Early detection is the key. If detected early, it has a very good cure rate. If left undetected until it metastasizes, it's almost 100% fatal.
If you're male and haven't had an exam in a while, go get it done sooner rather than later. If you're female and your male partner hasn't had an exam in a while - make him get one.
I had one two weeks ago, all normal I'm happy to report.