Real men get tested.
So, if you are a real man — or know a real man — follow that advice. It could save your life or the life of someone you love.
It did for Bill Keeler and Tim Reed. We told their stories on this page in April, but mention it now since the two local men have taken their outreach campaign up a notch.
Last September, Reed, a local business leader and past president of the Boilermaker Road Race, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and received radiation treatment. In February, Keeler, a local radio personality, underwent colorectal surgery for colon cancer.
Both men are now considered cancer-free.
Last week, the pair launched the "Real Men Get Tested" campaign through a group associated with the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties.
Their goal is to inspire, educate and remind men to get tested for cancer. In both cases, it was a simple medical test that first alerted Keeler and Reed to their cancer.
Early detection saved their lives.
The problem as they see it is that men are often hesitant when it comes to their personal health care, especially when it comes to medical tests.
"Men often times ignore the warning signs and avoid the simple tests like the PSA blood test and colonoscopies which can detect cancer early while it’s treatable," said Reed. "If we can just convince one guy to get tested, we’ve done our job."
Hopefully it’ll be more than just one.
Frightened? Don’t be. There is no pain beyond a needle prick involved in either test.
A simple blood test can determine a man’s PSA to screen for prostate cancer. And the worst part of a colonoscopy is the preparation. Even that has improved significantly in the past decade. The actual colonoscopy procedure takes about 20 or 30 minutes, and after a very brief recovery (about a half hour) you’re free to go. Anesthesia used is much more mild than it used to be, but it’s still recommended you let someone else drive you home.
The toughest part of either test: Making the appointment. Do it.