Here’s a score to brag about
Rocky Marciano, as undefeated heavyweight boxing champion, said that. This was back during a time when athletes were expected to be humble. The statement made headlines, the sportswriters deemed the “Brockton Block-buster” cocky. A few decades earlier, when the press suggested Dizzy Dean was “too big for his own britches,” he retorted, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.”
I feel a little like Dizzy Dean tonight, but I’m simply telling the truth when I say I have a prostate of a man half my age.
Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t have a prostate from a man half my age; it is not a transplant. Rather, mine is in the mint condition of man in his mid- 20s.
I didn’t even know what a prostate was until I turned 40. At that time I was gleefully told by older friends that I had to get it checked once a year. I asked my sister-in-law, a nurse, to show me one in an anatomy book. My comment was “Man, that seems a hard spot to work on. How do you get to it?” When she told me, I thought she was kidding.
Men are like dogs and custom agents. They can smell fear. It was for that reason I wasn’t able to get a straight answer concerning the actual discomfort involved in a prostate exam. Keith said it was rather pleasant, Craig admitted there was some discomfort involved, Sam said it felt like getting a scalp massage, administered from the inside.
For the uninitiated, the prostate is located on the opposite end of the body from your cowlick. It is the size of a plum, and has something to do with sex and reproduction. According to statistics, 90 percent of men who live to be 90 will get prostate cancer. This does not mean that they’ll die from it, but after death by something else, when examined, 90 percent have the condition.
For men over 40 it is the single most likely health issue to cause alarm. It is fairly easy to treat if caught in time, so that is why men my age should be checked at least every couple of years. Without going into gory details, the procedure is much like a tonsil exam but from the opposite end.
Considerably more painful, yet less embarrassing is the accompanying blood test. The beauty of the blood work, called PSA, is that it is the test result returns as a number, the lower number the better. Anything under 4 is normal, under 2 exceptional; any number below 1 is a prostate worth bragging about.
The quantifiable digit makes for lively competition. Currently three of my friends, of similar age, compete in the Prostate of the Year competition. We will all be tested within a couple of weeks, meet for beers, and reveal results; the best butt wins – I’m undefeated.
I’ve tried to not let my prostate go to my head, but at this point in my life there is very little else to brag about. While other men boast of careers, homes and possessions, my prostate is where I’m able to toot my own horn. I must point out that all my bud’s butts were also at an exceptional mark, but none could hold a candle to mine.
Obviously the purpose of this column is not to simply brag of the grandeur of my gland. It is to remind all of you in and around 40 to join in on the competition. Both tests are relatively painless and inexpensive.
Do yourself a favor, bite the bullet and get it done. Ask for Doctor Randy, tell him I sent you, and he’ll give you a lollipop.
Biff America writes a weekly column for the Daily.