On Jan. 29, the Press Herald printed an article that highlighted the unwillingness of military men to disclose their bout with prostate cancer and highlighted the recent reluctance of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (“Defense secretary kept prostate cancer, surgery complications a secret from everyone”).

Others in the military cited their fear of affecting their careers and sometimes keeping the information private because of “the intensely personal nature of a disease that attacks the male reproductive system, and treatment that can cause side effects such as incontinence and impotence.”

All too true, and I say this to men with understanding, empathy and respect: Get over it! What is important is saving your life and managing the prostate cancer before it spreads. Quality of life can be absolutely fine if it is caught early.

Men must talk with their doctors and, if appropriate (at 50 years old or earlier) have a yearly PSA test (a simple blood test). Women have confronted breast cancer for decades. Men can learn to do this, too.

Sandra Jaeger

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