Preaching to the converted

//Preaching to the converted

It seems peculiar to me that presentations designed to inform men about the importance of early detection often fill the room with survivors… men who have already been diagnosed and are already extremely knowledgeable about early detection.

So, what’s the best case scenario?  Is it teaching my 12 year old how to eat right and be safe and healthy?  To adopt practices early in life that reduce his risk of developing cancer or, more likely, just reduce his risk of dying of it?  To encourage my 35 year old brother to be sensitive of our family history so we don’t have to experience more loss from this preventable cause of death?  God knows he is already “aware” as we shared losing our dad together… so talking to him about genetic testing… nagging him to screen annually and track his velocity… to make sure he knows what those results mean?

Social marketing is a term that gets tossed around in public health… it’s a novel concept designed to inspire revolutions.  But seriously, for the theory to work, don’t you have to start by designing programs and messages that inspire change within in groups and individuals that are most likely to adopt that change?  Who is that guy?  Is he a guy with health insurance or without it?  Is he already knowledgeable about health issues, or completely unaware?  Is he completely opposed to change, or concerned and willing to consider adaptations?

Further, if we don’t encompass within that message an underlying communication about the varying degrees of prostate cancer and the importance of knowing what yours is and how to manage it, don’t we create our own opposition?

What if you flip the message around and talk about the broad palette of options available with early detection?  Talk about the improved outcomes both in regard to survival and preservation of quality of life available with early detection?  Emphasize that, with early detection, you buy time to research and educate yourself?

Is that an easier pill to swallow?  Maybe just keeping it simple and about priorities like family and quality of life… maybe?

By | 2017-10-19T10:56:29+00:00 January 5th, 2009|Uncategorized|4 Comments

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  1. Louise June 8, 2009 at 10:01 am

    I’m writing because I’ve been looking at your blog and I thought you might be interested in helping a cancer charity across the pond raise awareness of prostate cancer. The Prostate Cancer Charity has been entered into London’s biggest creative challenge; a competition to win free advertising space for the charity on London’s buses.

    I’m sure you know that in the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and 1 man dies every hour from prostate cancer. Furthermore, African Caribbean men are 3 times more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to their white counterparts, and this is a great opportunity to raise awareness throughout the diverse streets of London.

    So please help us if you can. It will only take a few seconds, and if you agree with the ad and what it’s trying to do – YOU CAN VOTE DAILY! The ad is currently in 2nd place amongst almost 100 and lots of votes are needed to help us get to No. 1.

    Please visit to vote for the advert “Sorry, must dash” and help raise awareness of prostate cancer.

    It would be great if there were a way to get this message to your bloggers. We’ve already created quite a discussion in our comments and would love to see this worthy cause take to the streets of London. Thanks in advance.

  2. Mike Scott June 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm


    You are absolutely right … We waste all our time preaching to survivors who are noth “the converted” but also (usually) way too focused on their own individual issues (for obvious reasons).

    For this reason, we have now formed the Prostate Cancer Community Awareness Councils — a grassroots action network that won’t be focused on patients but on those willing to actually take real action. Malecare has been invited to become a partner in this new venture (hopefully along with every other major prostate cancer organization across America).

    My personal goal to is to have 50,000 committed members of PCCAC across America by the end of 2010 — but we’re going to need all the help we can get!

  3. KonstantinMiller July 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Hello, can you please post some more information on this topic? I would like to read more.

  4. Mary October 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Mike! How are things?

    You know since first posting this thread, I’m convinced that your point is one we all need to be more sensitive to… “way too focused on their own individual issues (for obvious reasons)” our cause is fundamentally lacking solid unbiased resources for psycho-social support – that are easily available to the newly diagnosed man (and the irony of my posting this here within one such resource is not lost on me:).

    Re my post last night, this is really my point… from the onset of diagnosis, the prostate cancer patient is treated as business to be won versus a human being who may have just had the lid blown off of his psychological health via the trauma of diagnosis. What small % of the population thinks clearly after being handed that news? Enter the side-effects discussion… with a population ripe for the peddling of snake oil and tea leaves… what a mess we have on our hands:)

    How are things going with the PCCAC?

    KonstantinMiller, please let me know what you’d like more info on, and please accept my apologies for this obnoxiously late response!

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