Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Where the Boys Aren't

When I started this blog and my Facebook page some three or four months ago, I remember reading other pages to get ideas and inspiration.  I recall that one FB page (perhaps Melanoma Girl’s) had over 400 “Likes!”  I was so impressed…not by the numbers, but by the number of opportunities she had to spread her message.  Every time she’d mention a thought about using sunscreen, over 400 people might read it…and they might share it…and so on and so on.  At the time, I was struggling and hoping to reach 25 “Likes” by emailing and messaging friends on my personal Facebook.  (25 “Likes” allows one to create a shorter URL…mine being 
This week, I received my 400th “like.”  I’m literally shocked…and thrilled.  Again, it’s not about the numbers, but about the opportunities for people to read the articles and links I share.  I’m sure nowhere near 400 follow my thoughts on a daily basis, but every person that does read helps to spread the word.
Since I’m a bit of a data geek, I decided to take a closer look at the numbers.  I discovered that the people that “like” my page live all across this country…and beyond.  I’m not sure how many states, but quite a few.  Many countries are represented as well, such as Canada, Australia (cursed leader of the melanoma world), England, Germany and the Netherlands.   However, one statistic stood out among other.  Over 93% of those that “Liked” my page are female!
So what does this mean?  Does it mean that men don’t surf Facebook?  Does it mean that men don’t research melanoma online?  Or do they simply not want to face it?  I have no idea…I’m a male that’s become a bit paranoid and tend to over-surf every ailment I have.  I think I’m the exception.
Men accounted for nearly two thirds of the deaths by melanoma in 2011 (one I knew personally).  Melanoma can be expected to affect one in every 39 men in their lifetime while women are affected at a rate of one in 58.  Men over 50 are twice as likely to develop and die from melanoma when compared with women.  By these stats, it seems that men should really being taking a greater interest in what’s being said…far more than only seven percent of the population.
Maybe that’s the connection.  Men are either not listening or they’re stubborn about seeing a doctor about “that spot.”  “Eh, I’ll see if it goes away.”  “Working in the sun is good for way it’s gonna kill me.”  “It’s just a spot...the doc is just going to cut it out and leave a scar anyway…just leave it.”
Guys, as much as my ego loves the attention from over 370 women from all over the world, it’s time we start to wake up and take skin cancer and melanoma seriously.  You don’t have to “like” my Facebook page, or even read my blog, but please take notice and get educated somewhere.  And spread the word to your buddies.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know the statistics, but in general men tend to be more likely to feel invincible and to avoid going to the doctor in what women would consider is a "timely" manner. My Dad had melanoma. By the time he had it removed, it was the size of a grape tomato. He died six months later of esophageal cancer that was inoperable. I didn't have a chance to talk with him about why he waited so long. He was a freckle face like me and spent hours every weekend in the garden or on the beach.

    I know about being stoic, I am super stoic myself. But avoiding regular preventative care visits about various cancers is simply like playing with a loaded gun. I am 8 months out from a breast cancer diagnosis found during a routine mammogram. Thankfully the cancer was in a very early stage. I've had my biopsy, surgery, radiation and am taking my cancer drug every night as prescribed. I intend to spoil my grandchildren as long as possible (they aren't born yet, but I am looking forward to enjoying my children's kids).

    Bright Blessings, Alan. Thanks for your posts on this important issue.

    ~Diane Villwock