This week, 12-18 June 2023, is World Men’s Health Week and it reminds me of my own recent battles with cancer – two and a half times in fact.

I wrote a similar story some years ago about my battles with cancer.

Years ago I had testicular cancer, then shortly before COVID, I had treatment for anal cancer. I’m glad to say I’m now cancer free and getting on with my life…

The battle that almost was, came in the form of a tiny spot on my neck four years ago; that was post the anal cancer scare. It was during an annual skin check with my dermatologist. Looking over my body he noticed a spot on my neck, inconspicuous at first, but when he had a serious look, he said: “Hmm, let’s keep an eye on this for the next six months.”

I didn’t say much at first, but he must have seen the fear in my eyes. He then said, “You know what, with your recent past, let’s get a biopsy and go from there.”

Then I was scared. Not again, I thought to myself. On the train back to work my mind was racing. I considered all of the worst possible outcomes… Was it melanoma or cancer? Would I need radiation? Was I facing death?

The results came back. You know what? It was the early stages of melanoma. The good thing was, it was very treatable. I’ve got a nice thin scar on my neck to show for it. I’m no doctor, but because we diagnosed it early and treated it early, I’m okay. I recovered really well.

The theme for Men’s Health Week this year is Healthy Habits – something I’m pleased I’ve maintained, which led to my early diagnosis. This week I’m sure we’ll talk about lots of aspects of men’s health, from cancer to addiction, depression and other aspects of mental health. They’re all important issues.

I’d only like to leave you with one simple message:

See something, do something.

Don’t be the guy (or the girl) who sits on their hands when it comes to your health and hopes it goes away. Doing nothing is not smart – its’ plain dumb, in fact!

Create a healthy habit to see your doctor, dentist, myotherapist or naturopath. Schedule regular self-care appointments and don’t put them off.

Finally, here’s some tips from my previous article that are just as relevant today:

  1. See something, do something: there are two types of people: those who go to the doctor, and those who don’t. Be the former.
  2. Get an opinion from a healthcare specialist: not Google. Find someone caring who you can talk to openly in private.
  3. Talk to others: keeping it to yourself only raises your stress levels and the internal chatter can be scary. Talk to family and friends, ask for help and don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities.
  4. Stay positive: it makes a huge difference. Surround yourself with positive energy and positive people. Getting an early diagnosis is key and helps combat the negative aspects of the situation.

This is a good time to book in your next check-up. Do it today!

How have you worked through any challenging health issues?  How did you tackle them, any tips you can share?