Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg Dead at 56

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.


  1. Glad to hear it's all good with you. How's your dad doing, if you don't mind my asking?

    And yes, I will haranguing my Smart Man to go in and get the exam.

  2. Ah, the snap of the glove, the whiff of lubricant. Yep, get one as regular as I see the doctor (which I need to do more regularly). End of week I see the other doctor to see how much I've lost (or not) since October. Then I need to schedule a 10,000 mile check up, oil change and rotation of tires sometime next year.

  3. Dad's doing pretty good, thanks for asking Janiece.

    He's 74, and the cancer is slowly advancing. Right now it appears to be idle. They've decided not to operate unless things change. He gets checked every two months and they're keeping a beady scope on the situation.

    the snap of the glove, the whiff of lubricant. Argh!Don't remind me. Though every time I complain to my wife she responds with "well, at least they don't put you junk in a vise! Quit you whining, you baby." She has a point.

  4. Oh yeah, compared to what women go through in a ob/gyn exam, I'm willing to keep my probing fingers exam and not switch.

    Although, for that vise comment, it depends on the hand strength of your physician during the "turn your head and cough" hernia exam, might be the same thing. :)

  5. I knew there was a reason I was going to like Becky.


    Jim, I'm glad your pop is holding his own. I'll keep him in my thoughts.

  6. Steve, noted and agree.

    I once had a hernia and prostate exam by a female military doctor who I swear had fingers the size of polish sausages. I think she was a rock climber too, because she had a grip like a cold steel hydraulic press. I still shudder to think about it.


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