Jerry's Journey: Knowledge is good

Knowledge is good.

Anyone who has seen Animal House knows that. It's right there on the Faber College statue. Everyone has seen Animal House. How it failed to win multiple Academy Awards is beyond me.

Knowledge is good. Knowledge is very good.

Not so long ago, I didn't know nothing about no prostate cancer.

Before my father was diagnosed with this snippy little disease, I couldn't tell you the function of the prostate. I never thought about it, and I wasn't alone. A recent study conducted by the fine folks at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute claims only 5% of the men questioned were aware of the prostate's purpose.

Translation: Ask a man what would happen if he lost a lung, and he would wheeze. Ask a man about the repercussions of surrendering his stomach and he would wonder how a woman is supposed to get to his heart. Tell a man you have to remove his prostate, and you get a nice steady blank stare.

That's not all.

Less than 15% of the men surveyed forthe Emory study knew the meaning of "incontinence," a potential side effect of prostate cancer treatment. Less than a third understood the term "urinary function." Fewer than half knew the meaning of "impotence."

The people surveyed were at a urology clinic, where the sole function is to discuss impotence, incontinence, and urinary functions.

Dr. Viraj Master, who helped lead the study, says men are so uninformed about simple prostate-related terminology that it could limit the ability of these patients to make wise decisions about their health.

"The research shows the problem is even worse than we believed," said Dr. Master.

You could blame men and their stubbornness. You could conclude that many doctors don't do a good job of educating the nation's thicker-headed gender.

That's right. I said it. My gender is blissfully oblivious when it comes to matters of life and death. That's why we like guns. And fast cars. And cigars. And placing open flames near devices filled with explosive materials. We don't take the time to fathom that it might be bad for us.

Knowledge - Good. Men - Dumb.

Tonight on 11Alive, we're going to go into knowledge overload. We've invited a group of doctors and prostate cancer survivors to answer viewer questions about prostate cancer. Any question.

These are men who have plenty of knowledge, and they're willing to share it. It's all part of my celebration five years after ridding my body of prostate cancer.

Knowledge is more than good. It's vital. If I'd only had a little more knowledge years ago, I might have helped save my dad's life.
Men can't continue with this dangerously ignorant attitude.

It's going to stop. To quote Dean Wormer from Animal House, the time has come for someone to put his foot down, and that someone is me.

Or better yet, there's the quote from Bluto Blutarsky that seems appropriate.

It wasn't over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, and it ain't over now.


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