Men play a valued and essential role in family and community that creates balance in our culture. It is one of many reasons why it is important for you to take care of yourself. Your family and your mob need you around for a long time to keep our knowledge systems and traditions alive one generation to another.
This is why Men’s Business is crucial when dealing with cancer.
While Men’s Business is conducted differently in each community, it will often include things like health, wellbeing, ceremony, how we conduct family business, taking care of sacred sites and continuing culture through language, song, dance, art and storytelling. Men have distinct roles and responsibilities, performing specific tasks that benefit the whole community.
It is paramount that you’re able to conduct Men’s Business and uphold protocol during your cancer journey. You can request cultural protocol to be followed where gender-specific cancer is present or symptoms resulting from a cancer diagnosis are impacting your reproductive organs or any other part of your body.
For men who have a symptom or a change in your body, it’s important to make sure you get it investigated early. The earlier cancer is found, the better for you and your family. Talk to your male health practitioner about getting any change in your body checked.
Cancers that can affect only men include prostate cancer and less commonly, cancer of the testicles and penis.
Men can also get breast cancer. Although it is rare in men, it can still become serious if left untreated. If you find a lump or another change in your breasts or chest, make sure you get it checked.
Other common cancers in men include lung cancer, bowel cancer and head and neck cancers.
Most changes don’t turn out to be cancer, but it’s really important to get checked to be sure.
- Request the assistance of male health practitioners throughout your cancer journey.
- Have another male (father, uncle, brother, partner, friend etc.) attend medical appointments and procedures with you as a support person.
- Call on the men in your family and community to conduct Men’s Business to help you through your cancer journey.
- Ask for a male advocate to assist you navigate your medical treatment.
- Request that health practitioners and providers are competent in upholding Men’s Business protocols.
Remember, our families and mob are our best teachers. Lean on your Elders and family to help you uphold Men’s Business protocol during your cancer journey.