No Shave November

Young men are told to do regular checks of their bodies and get prostate exams at age 50. But even if you are healthy, you are not immune to health issues.

You may have seen the men of the "today show" and our own David Harker sporting the scruff for No Shave November, and David explains how these procedures can help in the fight against cancer.

When Brent Poe started getting sick, he says he didn't think it was serious. “For me, I had flu-like symptoms and was eventually in the hospital, and it took them a while, actually three weeks, to determine exactly what the cause was.”

It turned out the cause was really testicular cancer.

“When we are first diagnosed with cancer, it is a situation where we go through denial that can't be... Wait a minute, I'm healthy, I've eaten the right foods or I've taken care of myself, I exercise. It can't be me.”

Denial is common among men who don't want to believe they're sick, and that's why this month testicular and prostate cancer are in the news for No Shave November. A month dedicated to making men aware of their risks for male cancers and other health risks.

Dr. Rob Riley with the Memorial Medical Group says, “With testicular cancer, the story is mostly good news because part of the reason that screening methods have not been all that effective in reducing mortality is that the treatment is so excellent that mortality is very low as a result of this condition to begin with.”

“The situation with prostate cancer is much more complicated. It is actually a very common cancer. We know that men, if they live long enough, are almost certain to get this.”

In fact, it's believed that over 238,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year. Testicular cancer is rarer. It's believed nearly 8,000 men will be diagnosed.

Brent describes how he learned he had cancer three years ago, “I know when my doctor told me "you have cancer", I was just stunned and I thought so that's how you tell a person that because nobody's ready to hear that and so you need the support.”

And that support is vital, Brent started support groups that meet regularly in Goshen and Mishawaka.

He says, “I want to give them hope that you can survive cancer, and that is huge. You want people to know that you can make it through this. You will pull through.”

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