Transcript: Healthy Men: Strong But Not Silent | Nov 06, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, striped blue tie, and a red poppy pin.

A caption on screen reads "Healthy men: Strong and not silent. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says FOR MOST PEOPLE,
TALKING ABOUT CANCER IS HARD.
IT GETS HARDER STILL WHEN IT IS
OF A TYPE LOCATED IN, WELL,
SENSITIVE AND PRIVATE PLACES.
BUT THE DISEASE DOESN'T
DIFFERENTIATE ON THAT BASIS AND
WE WON'T EITHER, PARTICULARLY AS
WE'RE JOINED BY TWO PEOPLE WHO
ARE NOT SHY ABOUT TRYING TO GET
MEN IN PARTICULAR PAST THEIR
RETICENCE ON THIS TOUGH TOPIC.
SO WE WELCOME:
SHAWN PAUL THOMPSON, A MEN'S
HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE, CREATOR OF
THE FUNDRAISER "THE SALINE BALL."
AND A FORMER TESTICULAR CANCER PATIENT...

Shawn is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing a black jacket over a spotted white shirt, and a red poppy pin.

Steve continues AND WARREN KOTLER, A VOLUNTEER
WITH RETHINK BREAST CANCER, WHO
IS LIVING WITH BREAST CANCER.

Warren is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a gray pinstripe suit, pink shirt, green tie, and red poppy pin.

Steve continues I WELCOME YOU TWO GUYS HERE TO TVO.
YOU I'M MEETING I GUESS FOR THE
SECOND TIME. I MET YOU ONCE A
LONG TIME AGO BRIEFLY.
YOU I KNOW REALLY WELL.
LET'S DO FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
YOUR SISTER LEANNE IS A PRODUCER
ON "THE AGENDA" WHICH IS HOW WE
KNOW EACH OTHER AND I'M GRATEFUL
TO BOTH OF YOU FOR COMING IN AND
TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT FAR
TOO MANY MEN DON'T WANT TO TALK
ABOUT, WHICH IS WHY WE'RE GOING
TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.
SHAWN, WE'RE GOING TO GO BACK
AND FORTH AND GET EVERYBODY'S
STORY ON THE RECORD HERE.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU WERE
DIAGNOSED WITH TESTICULAR CANCER?

The caption changes to "Shawn Paul Thompson. Testicular cancer survivor."

Shawn says IT WAS AROUND THE TIME OF MY
35th BIRTHDAY SO IT WAS NOT A
VERY NICE PRESENT.
THAT'S WHEN I LEARNED THE NEWS I
HAD TESTICULAR CANCER.

Steve says WHAT WAS THE FIRST
TIME THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG?

Shawn says MY RIGHT TESTICLE STARTED TO
SHRINK SO IT WAS NOTICEABLE TO ME.
I WENT FROM THE size OF A
WALNUT TO A GRAPE.
AND THE TEXTURE FELT VERY
DIFFERENT AS WELL.
IMMEDIATELY... I WAS PROACTIVE
AT THAT TIME AND I WENT TO MY
DOCTOR AND I SAID THERE'S
SOMETHING GOING ON HERE.
CAN YOU AT THE POINT ME OUT?

Steve says WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT?

Shawn says HE SENT ME FOR ULTRASOUNDS
AND AFTER THE ULTRASOUND I WAS
SENT TO SUNNYBROOK.
I THOUGHT IT WAS A READING.
I GOT A HANDSHAKE FROM THE
DOCTOR WHO SAID, "BY THE WAY,
I'M AN ONCOLOGIST AND WE THINK
YOU HAVE CANCER."
SO I WAS IN SHOCK, OBVIOUSLY.
AFTER THAT, IT WAS IMMEDIATE.
AND I HAD MY RIGHT TESTICLE REMOVED.

Steve says THERE ARE ALL KINDS
OF REACTIONS TO THE NEWS THAT
YOU HAVE CANCER.
THERE ARE, I SUSPECT, EVEN MORE
DIFFICULT REACTIONS WHEN IT IS
IN A PART OF THE BODY THAT
PEOPLE JUST DON'T LIKE TO TALK
ABOUT.
HOW DID ALL OF THIS AFFECT YOU
PSYCHOLOGICALLY?

Shawn says WELL, PSYCHOLOGICALLY I WAS
ALREADY STRUGGLING WITH SOME
MEN'S ISSUES.
MY MASCULINITY.
I HAD STRUGGLED WITH MY
SEXUALITY.

Steve says YOU'RE A GAY MAN?

The caption changes to "Shawn Paul Thompson. Men's health advocate."

Shawn says I'M A GAY MAN.
AND IT HAD BEEN A STRUGGLE FOR ME.
SO THE FACT THAT SOMEONE WAS NOW
REMOVING A BIG PART OF MY
MASCULINITY, IT WAS VERY
PSYCHOLOGICALLY CHALLENGING FOR
ME BECAUSE I HAD ALREADY HAD
ISSUES AND THEN A PART OF MY
BODY WAS BEING TAKEN AWAY AND
SOON I WOULD LEARN ANOTHER PART
OF MY BODY WOULD BE TAKEN AWAY.

Steve says IT WAS PILING ON, IN A WAY?

Shawn says IT WAS PILING ON, BUT FOR ME,
I BECAME A BIT OF A WARRIOR
BECAUSE I WANTED TO GET TO THE
ROOT OF IT AND PUT THE PUZZLE
TOGETHER AS TO HOW I COULD BE A
BIGGER AND A BETTER MAN.

Steve says GOTCHA.
WARREN, WE KNOW ALL ABOUT BREAST
CANCER BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF
THOSE THINGS THAT OCCUPIES A
GREAT DEAL OF OUR BANDWIDTH, AN
APPALLING DISEASE THAT TOO MANY
WOMEN HAVE TO DEAL WITH.
BUT VERY FEW MEN DEAL WITH IT.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU HAD IT?

The caption changes to "Warren Kotler. Living with breast cancer."
Then, it changes again to "Fighting shame."

Warren says I WAS IN THE
SHOWER ONE MORNING AND I HAD
NOTICED THERE HAD BEEN A CHANGE
IN THE TEXTURE OF MY LEFT
BREAST, AND I THOUGHT, IT FEELS
A BIT ODD.
I'VE BEEN ALWAYS VERY PROACTIVE
IN TERMS OF MY HEALTH.
WHEN I HAVE AN ISSUE, I HAVE NO
PROBLEM TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.
I WENT TO THE DOCTOR AND HE SORT
OF SCRATCHED HIS HEAD.
YEAH, MALE BREAST CANCER VERY
RARE, BUT LET'S JUST BE SAFE.
WE'LL SEND YOU FOR AN ULTRASOUND
RIGHT AWAY.
WITHIN 24 HOURS I HAD AN
ULTRASOUND AND A DAY OR TWO
LATER I WAS GOING TO CALIFORNIA
WITH MY DAUGHTER FOR A WEEK TRIP
FOR HER GRADUATION, AND HE SAID,
"DON'T WORRY, UNLIKELY WE'RE
GOING TO CALL YOU.
IF WE DO, IT'S JUST BECAUSE WE
HAVE TO FOLLOW UP ON SOMETHING."
HAVING DINNER IN SAN FRANCISCO,
I LOOK AT MY PHONE.
I SEE IT'S MY DOCTOR.
I EXCUSE MYSELF FROM THE TABLE.
I DON'T REALLY WANT MY DAUGHTER
TO HEAR THIS.
AND IT SAYS, "YOU HAVE TO GO FOR
A MAMMOGRAM RIGHT AWAY."

Steve says A MAMMOGRAM?

Warren says A MAMMOGRAM.
"I'M IN CALIFORNIA."
"WHEN ARE YOU BACK?"
"MONDAY, MIDNIGHT."
"WE'LL BOOK YOU 7:00 TUESDAY
MORNING."
AT THIS POINT I'M REALIZING
SOMETHING IS UP.

Steve says THEY WANT ME IN FAST.
THAT CAN'T BE GOOD.

Warren says I LAND.
I GO FOR A MAMMOGRAM.
I'M ESCORTED INTO A ROOM.
AND I LOOK AROUND AND VERY CLEAR
ONE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER.
TWELVE WOMEN AND ME.
UNDER ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES,
I'D BE VERY HAPPY.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says NOT THOSE
CIRCUMSTANCES.

Warren says NOT THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES.

Steve says LET ME SEND YOU BACK
FOR A SECOND THERE.
FOR WOMEN THEY TELL YOU
SELF-EXAMINE, LOOK FOR LUMPS.
IS THAT WHAT YOU FOUND?

Warren says I FOUND A LUMP.
IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE LUMP ABOUT
THE SIZE OF AN ALMOND.
DISTINCTLY, CLEARLY, A LUMP.
ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says GETTING A MAMMOGRAM
THEN, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?

Warren says I SIGH.
I HEARD STORIES FROM MY MOTHER,
FROM MY SISTER, OTHER FEMALE
FRIENDS.
MEN DON'T HAVE A LOT OF TISSUE,
OR AT LEAST I CERTAINLY DON'T.
AND YOU'RE BROUGHT INTO A ROOM
AND YOU'RE PRESSED UP AGAINST
THIS PLEXIGLAS AND YOU'RE
PANCAKED AND YOU'RE UP AGAINST
IT AND THEY'RE TELLING YOU TO
HOLD YOUR BREATH.
IT'S EXCRUCIATING.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY EXCRUCIATING.

Steve says NOT JUST PLEASANT.

Warren says IT'S EXCRUCIATING.
AND THEY TRY TO TAKE FLESH FROM
WHEREVER THEY CAN TO PUSH IT
INTO THIS MAMMOGRAM AND THEY'RE
TELLING YOU TO HOLD YOUR BREATH.
I CAN'T BREATHE ANYWAY, IT'S SO
PAINFUL.
AND JUST AS THEY'RE ABOUT TO
PRESS IT A LITTLE BIT MORE, THE
SIEGE IS OVER, YOU'RE HAPPY IT'S
OVER.
WE'LL HAVE THE RESULTS WITHIN A
COUPLE OF DAYS.
I GOT A CALL SAYING WE'D LIKE
YOU TO SEE A BREAST DOCTOR.
I THOUGHT BREAST DOCTOR.
SOUNDS A BIT ODD.
I GOOGLE THE DOCTOR.
SURGICAL ONCOLOGIST.
I SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING.
MY SISTER LEANNE CAME WITH ME TO
THE APPOINTMENT.
THE SHORT VERSION IS, SORRY TO
HAVE TO TELL YOU, BUT YOU MOST
LIKELY HAVE BREAST CANCER.

Steve says NOW, WHEN WOMEN HEAR
THAT, THE NEXT QUESTION ENDS UP
BEING, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE WE
GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
MAY HAVE TO TAKE OFF THE BREAST.
MAY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING LESS
INVASIVE.
WHAT IS IT FOR MEN?

Warren says NO DIFFERENT.
THE CONVERSATION QUICKLY WENT
INTO, "WELL, IT'S GOING TO TAKE
A YEAR OFF YOUR LIFE, WE'LL
START YOU ON CHEMO AND THE
RADICAL MASTECTOMY."
AND I SAID, OH.
WHAT PICTURES I'VE SEEN, A SCAR
RUNNING ACROSS, BUT, YES, DO THE
RADICAL MASTECTOMY.

Steve says YOURS WAS EVEN WORSE
BECAUSE YOUR CANCER SPREAD.

Warren says I THEN DISCOVERED IT SPREAD.

Steve says TO WHERE?

Warren says TO MY SPINE.

Steve says WHAT DID THAT MEAN?

Warren says I HAD, SUBSEQUENT TO THAT
APPOINTMENT, IT'S KNOWN PROTOCOL
THEY SCAN THEIR MRIs AND CTs
AND IT WAS DISCOVERED ON TWO OF
THE VERTEBRAE, TWO LESIONS ON MY
VERTEBRAE.
SO BY NOW IT WAS END OF
NOVEMBER.
SO THIS ALL HAPPENED A YEAR AGO
NOW.
I WAS ASKED IF I WAS
EXPERIENCING PAIN.
COULD I MOVE MY LEGS?
DIDN'T HAVE ANY PAIN.
COULD MOVE MY LEGS.
NO DIFFICULTY WHATSOEVER.
A WEEK AFTER THEY BROUGHT IT TO
MY ATTENTION, I STARTED TO
EXPERIENCE PAIN.
BUT I COULD STILL FUNCTION.
DECEMBER 26TH, I WAS OUT BOXING
DAY SHOPPING WITH MY BROTHER WHO
HAD FLOWN IN FROM LONDON, ALL
DAY, WALKING AROUND.
WAS IN PAIN.
MANAGEABLE.
DECEMBER 27TH, I COULD NOT MOVE.

Steve says COULDN'T MOVE?

Warren says COULD NOT MOVE.

Steve says COULDN'T GET OUT OF BED?

Warren says COULDN'T GET OUT OF BED.
I THEN SUBSEQUENTLY MANAGED,
UNDER GREAT PAIN, TO GET TO THE
HOSPITAL.
I SAW MY ONCOLOGIST.
HE SAID YOU HAVE TO GO TO
EMERGENCY RIGHT AWAY.
HAD AN MRI.
AND THEY SAID YOUR BACK IS
BROKEN IN TWO PLACES.
SO THE CANCER LESIONS HAD EATEN
AWAY AT THE VERTEBRAE AND THE
BACK HAD COLLAPSED.

Steve says SO THEY OPERATED ON
YOUR BACK?

Warren says I WAS ADMITTED TO TORONTO
WESTERN WHERE THE TOP
NEUROSURGEONS ARE.
UNFORTUNATELY, IT WAS IN
BETWEEN... IT WAS NOW COMING
INTO NEW YEAR'S.
THE TOP GUYS ARE ON HOLIDAY.
AND YOU DON'T REALLY WANT THE
"B" TEAM WORKING ON YOU.
SO EVERY DAY IT WAS, LET'S WAIT
TO SEE IF WE CAN ASSEMBLE THE
TEAM.
AND EVERY DAY... EVERY NIGHT AT
MIDNIGHT, NO EATING, AND IF THE
TEAM HADN'T BEEN ASSEMBLED BY
1:00 THAT AFTERNOON, YOU COULD
EAT AGAIN.
FINALLY JANUARY THE 3RD, A FEW
HOURS' NOTICE, YOU'RE GOING IN
FOR SURGERY.

Steve says OKAY.
WELL, HERE WE ARE A YEAR LATER.
THEY TOLD YOU IT WOULD TAKE A
YEAR OUT OF YOUR LIFE.
HERE WE ARE, ALMOST A YEAR
LATER.
HOW ARE YOU FEELING, PHYSICALLY?

Warren says FANTASTIC.

Steve says REALLY?

Warren says I FEEL FANTASTIC.
IT'S A VERY STRANGE FEELING
FOR... I KNOW IT'S A BIT ODD FOR
ME.
WHEN PEOPLE HEAR THAT, THEY LOOK
AT ME.
I DON'T SORT OF PRESENT EITHER
AS A STAGE IV CANCER PATIENT NOR
SOMEONE WHO HAS HAD THEIR BACK
COMPLETELY REBUILT AND I'M HELD
TOGETHER BY RODS IN MY BACK.
I FEEL FINE.
I LIVE WITH CANCER IN THE SAME
WAY I LIVE WITH ARTHRITIS IN MY
KNEES.

The caption changes to "Survivor stories."

Steve says THAT'S AN
INTERESTING CHOICE OF WORDS.
I HEAR SOME PEOPLE SAY I'M A
CANCER SURVIVOR.
YOU DON'T USE THAT EXPRESSION.

Warren says I DON'T.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Warren says I DON'T FEEL I'M SURVIVING.
I'M LIVING.
CANCER IS A DISEASE.
IN MY CASE, IT'S A CHRONIC
DISEASE.
IT WILL MOST LIKELY COME BACK.
I LIVE WITH ARTHRITIS IN MY
KNEE.
ARTHRITIS IS A CHRONIC DISEASE.
I LIVE WITH ARTHRITIS.
I LIVE WITH CANCER.
AND I CHOOSE TO LIVE.

Steve says SHAWN, HOW ABOUT YOU?
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU'VE
BEEN THROUGH?

Shawn says SIMILAR TO WARREN.
I DON'T FEEL SORRY ABOUT MYSELF.
I ACCEPT IT.
I'M AUTHENTIC, LIKE YOU ARE,
ABOUT IT.
I SPEAK OUT TO PEOPLE ABOUT IT.
I TRY TO INFORM PEOPLE.
EVEN TO YOUR POINT ABOUT THE
MAMMOGRAM.
I'VE HAD A MAMMOGRAM TOO BECAUSE
THEY CHECK YOU FOR EVERYTHING
WHEN CANCER IS IN YOUR BODY.
AND, YES, IT IS A PAINFUL
EXPERIENCE, BUT MEN GET OUT
THERE AND GET IT DONE IF YOU
HAVE A LUMP OR IT'S THAT ACTION
AND THAT EARLY DETECTION THAT
REALLY... REALLY SAVES LIVES.
THERE'S SO MUCH SHAME ASSOCIATED
WITH IT...

Warren says I COMPLETELY AGREE.
WOMEN ARE PROGRAMMED:
SELF-EXAMINATION, AS THEY GROW
UP THEY'LL HAVE A GYNAECOLOGIST,
THEY'LL HAVE A DOCTOR.
I THINK MEN FROM LATE TEENS,
PERHAPS INTO 30s DON'T
TYPICALLY THINK ABOUT THEMSELVES
FROM A HEALTH PERSPECTIVE.
WE'RE HEALTHY, WE'RE INVINCIBLE.
THERE'S A GREATER PATTERN OF
SEEKING MEDICAL ADVICE AND
ATTENTION FROM WOMEN.
MEN NEED TO DO MORE.

Shawn says THINK THERE'S A CERTAIN SHAME
THAT'S ASSOCIATED WITH IT AND
IT'S ALSO... I FELT IT WITH MY
SEXUALITY.
SO THEN WHEN I LEARNED THAT I
HAD TESTICULAR CANCER, I THOUGHT
I HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG
AGAIN.
I WAS GETTING WHISPERS FROM
PEOPLE.
DON'T TELL ANYONE, DON'T TELL
ANYONE.
AND I WAS LIKE I WANT TO TELL
OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE IT AFFECTS
KIDS... 14.
I GOT IT AT 13.

Steve says IF YOU HAD LIVER OR
PROSTATE CANCER, NOBODY WOULD
BAT AN EYELASH ABOUT THAT.
BUT THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT
TESTICULAR CANCER OR, FOR THAT
MATTER, MALE BREAST CANCER, THAT
MAKES PEOPLE PAUSE.
WHAT IS THAT?

Shawn says IT'S
THE FEAR OF LOSING YOUR
MASCULINITY, THAT YOU'RE NOT MAN
ENOUGH.
AND TO EVEN SAY THE WORDS THAT
YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER, I HAVE
TO GIVE YOU A PAT ON THE BACK
FOR THAT.
IT'S HARD.
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT.
I HAVE TO SAY YOU HAVE BIGGER
TITS THAN I HAVE.
I LIVE THROUGH THIS WITH A SENSE
OF HUMOUR.

Warren says HUMOUR IS A VITAL PART.

Shawn says YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT BALLS.

Warren says ABSOLUTELY.

Shawn says AND PENISES AND BOOBS AND NOT
IN A FUN WAY LIKE YOU REFER TO IT.

Steve says SINCE WE'RE ON THE
TOPIC OF HUMOUR HERE, YOU HAVE A
PAMPHLET SORT OF OUTLINING ALL
OF THE STUFF YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO.
I SEE YOU EVEN STARTING TO SMILE
NOW AS YOU THINK ABOUT IT.

Warren says MATERIAL THAT'S BEEN HANDED
TO ME AT VIRTUALLY EVERY TEST
I'VE GONE TO, I CAN'T ANSWER 40 percent
OF THE QUESTIONS.
I'M NOT MENSTRUATING, OVULATING,
MENOPAUSAL, PERIMENOPAUSAL,
THERE'S DEFINITELY TO CHANCE OF
PREGNANCY.
AFTER MY THIRD APPOINTMENT WITH
THE SURGICAL ONCOLOGIST I'M
HANDED A PAMPHLET "A WOMAN'S
GUIDE TO BREAST CANCER."

Steve says UH-HUH.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THAT?

Warren says THANKS.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says CAN I INFER FROM
THAT THAT YOU THINK THERE NEEDS
TO BE A BIT OF A CHANGE IN THE
LITERATURE PROVIDED TO BREAST
CANCER PATIENTS?

Warren says I'D LIKE TO
SEE MORE OF A CHANGE IN TERMS OF
INCLUSION.
THE NUMBERS SPEAK FOR
THEMSELVES.
WOMEN BY AND FAR, BY A LONG
MARGIN, WILL BE IMPACTED FAR
MORE GREATLY BY BREAST CANCER.
MY UNDERSTANDING IS ABOUT 11 percent OF
WOMEN AND IT'S ONE-TENTH OF
1 PERCENT.

Steve says FOR MEN WHO WILL GET IT.

Warren says WHO WILL GET IT.
I ALSO UNDERSTAND THOSE NUMBERS
ARE INCREASING.
I DON'T KNOW WHY.
ENVIRONMENTAL.
WHAT WE'RE PUTTING IN OUR
BODIES.
MALE BREAST CANCER IS DEFINITELY
ON THE INCREASE.
IT'S SMALL, BUT IT DOESN'T
STRIKE ME AS BEING TOO DIFFICULT
TO... YOU KNOW, TO TALK ABOUT
BREAST CANCER AS A DISEASE AS
OPPOSED TO WOMEN'S BREAST
CANCER.
EVERYTHING REALLY REVOLVES
AROUND WOMEN'S BREAST CANCER.

The caption changes to "Reaching out."

Shawn says TO
THAT POINT, WHEN YOU SEE THE
COLOUR PINK THESE DAYS, YOU
THINK CANCER, YOU DON'T THINK
BUBBLE GUM.
AND I'VE GOT TO GIVE CREDIT TO
WOMEN.
WOMEN HAVE BEEN LEADING THIS AND
MEN NEED TO PICK UP THEIR GAME.
THEY NEED TO MAN UP, YOU KNOW,
AND JUST GET OUT THERE.
GET OUT OF THE SHAME, THE
EMBARRASSMENT, AND TALK ABOUT IT.
WOMEN HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB.
IF MEN CAME FORWARD AND START
SPEAKING ABOUT IT... IT STARTS
WITH SPEAKING SOMEONE, WHETHER
IT'S YOUR NEPHEW, YOUR BROTHER,
OR US SPEAKING TODAY AS MEN.
IT'S ENVIRONMENT... IT'S
IMPORTANT.
IT'S THE ENVIRONMENT.
IN A GYM OR BAR.
I'VE BEEN APPROACHED WITH MY
ADVOCACY WITH ONE ON ONE, I GET
A RANDOM CALL FROM A CUSTOMERS
WHO WHISPERS I HAVE A LUMP.
IT'S LIKE A DRUG DEALER.
IT'S A PROBLEM THAT MEN ARE NOT
SPEAKING OUT AND WE HAVE NOTHING
TO BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT.

Warren says I COMPLETELY AGREE.
EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO HOW THEY
DEAL WITH THEIR PARTICULAR
DIAGNOSIS.

Shawn says RIGHT.

Warren says I CHOOSE TO
BE VERY VOCAL.
I TALK ABOUT IT.
I'M NOT AFRAID.
I POST ON FACEBOOK.
I'M HAPPY TO GET OUT.
I'M HAPPY TO VOLUNTEER MY TIME
AND ENERGY TO ADVOCATE FOR
BREAST CANCER.
THE RE-THINK BREAST CANCER
PEOPLE THAT I'VE DONE JUST A
LITTLE BIT OF WORK WITH, THEY
ADVOCATE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
AND INITIATIVES FOR YOUNGER
PEOPLE AGE 40 AND UNDER.
PEOPLE HAVE TO LEARN, THEY HAVE
TO UNDERSTAND, AND NOT TO BE
AFRAID TO LOOK, EXAMINE, AND GO
TO THEIR DOCTOR AND SAY I THINK
I MIGHT HAVE A PROBLEM.

Shawn says
THERE'S NO SHAME.

Steve says THERE ISN'T.
BUT YOU TWO ARE IN SOME RESPECTS
SPITTING INTO A WIND THAT HAS
TAKEN MILLIONS OF YEARS TO GET
HERE, AND I REFER HERE TO THE
FACT THAT... I MEAN, MEN ARE
JUST NOT GOOD IN GENERAL ABOUT
TALKING ABOUT DEEPLY PERSONAL
HEALTH INFORMATION.
NOT SO MUCH WITH THEIR DOCTORS,
BUT CERTAINLY WITH EACH OTHER.
SO YOU'RE ASKING MEN TO DO
THINGS THAT IS NOT IN THEIR
NATURE AND MAKES THEM DEEPLY
UNCOMFORTABLE TO DO.
HOW DO WE GET OVER THAT?

The caption changes to "The new man."

Shawn says YOU
TAKE A RISK.
WHAT YOU JUST SAID ABOUT SEEING
A DOCTOR.
IF YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE
WITH A DOCTOR AND HAVE A
PROBLEM, WELL, GET IN AND SEE A
DOCTOR.
I HAVE A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF
MINE WHO, 18 YEARS, HE THINKS...
HE'S NEVER BEEN TO A DOCTOR AND
HE'S ON TOP OF THE WORLD.
HE MAKES A TON OF MONEY, HAS A
GREAT FAMILY, ETC.
BUT WHO KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON
INSIDE?
THIS WHOLE MONTH IS ABOUT
MENTAL... SORRY, HEALTH ISSUES.
MEN'S HEALTH ISSUES.
SO IF YOU'RE NOT COMFORTABLE
TALKING TO SOMEONE, THEN TALK TO
A PROFESSIONAL.

Steve says HOW DID YOU GET
COMFY TALKING ABOUT THIS?

Warren says I'VE ALWAYS
BEEN COMFORTABLE TALKING TO PEOPLE.

Steve says OKAY.

Warren says I'VE BEEN COMFORTABLE WITH
MYSELF.
IT'S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
AND I THINK I'M DEALING WITH IT
IN A FAIRLY POSITIVE, STRONG
WAY, AND I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO
CONTINUE WITH THAT.
THE CANCER WILL BE WITH ME
FOREVER.
STAGE IV, IT'S IN YOU.
IT'S NOT GOING AWAY.
THERE IS NO MAGICAL CURE.

Steve says SO YOU HAVE CANCER
IN YOU RIGHT NOW?

Warren says I WILL LIVE UNTIL I DIE WITH
CANCER.
STAGE IV DOES NOT LEAVE.
CORRECT.
YEARS AGO, DOCTORS DIDN'T TELL
THEIR PATIENTS THE BAD NEWS.
MY GREAT UNCLE WAS A DOCTOR TO
THE BRONFMANS, AND SAM BRONFMAN
HAD CANCER, AND THEY DECIDED,
LET'S NOT TELL SAM BECAUSE HE
REALLY SHOULDN'T KNOW AND HE'LL
LIVE A HAPPIER LIFE.
THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN TODAY.
DOCTORS INFORM THEIR PATIENTS.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE
INFORMATION.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING TO BE AFRAID
OF.
AND I THINK IF PEOPLE... IF WE
CAN GET THE MESSAGE OUT THAT
IT'S OKAY, IT'S NOT SOMETHING TO
BE ASHAMED OF, AFRAID OF, SHY
ABOUT.
I THINK IF YOU LOOK BACK, THE
A.I.D.S. EPIDEMIC OF THE '80s
AND THE FEAR ASSOCIATED WITH
THAT VERSUS HOW A.I.D.S. IS
LOOKED AT NOW.
A LOT OF THAT, AND YOU CAN
ATTEST TO THIS MUCH MORE THAN I,
THERE'S BEEN A GREAT SHIFT.
AND I THINK FOR MEN'S HEALTH,
THERE HAS TO BE A GREAT SHIFT.
PROSTATE CANCER.
A LOT OF MEN... I KNOW A LOT OF
GUYS, THEY'RE NOT CRAZY ABOUT
GOING TO THE DOCTOR...

Shawn says A LOT
OF IT COMES DOWN TO EARLY
DETECTION.
AND I THINK IF YOU RELATE TO MEN
IN A WAY... I WAS TOLD, BECAUSE
I CAME SO EARLY ABOUT MY
TESTICULAR CANCER, I HAD A 94 percent
CHANCE OF BEATING IT.
SO IF I TELL A FRIEND, YOU HAVE
A 94 percent CHANCE OF WINNING AT THAT
SPORTS THING, AT A GAMBLING
THING... THOSE ARE GOOD ODDS.
THOSE ARE ODDS I'M GOING TO
TAKE.
94 percent.

Steve says WE HAVE HIS STATUS.
HE IS LIVING IN CANCER.
IT IS STILL IN HIM.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCER SITUATION?

Shawn says I AM
FORTUNATE.
I AM CANCER-FREE.
I HAVE BEEN FOR A NUMBER OF
YEARS.
THEY FOLLOWED ME CLOSELY.

Steve says HOW MANY YEARS HAVE
YOU BEEN CANCER-FREE?

Shawn says I HAD BOTH OF MY BALLS
REMOVED, EASIER TO SAY BALLS,
AND I WAS PRETTY RADICAL.
I COULD HAVE HAD RADIATION ON MY
OTHER BALL AND TRIED TO MAINTAIN
IT AND KEEP IT, BUT THERE WERE
PRECANCEROUS CELLS THERE.
SO I JUST THOUGHT, I'M GOING TO
PUSH... AND I REALLY HAD TO
PUSH... TO HAVE THE OTHER ONE
REMOVED.

Steve says YOU DIDN'T WANT
KIDS, RIGHT?
SO IT WAS NOT AN ISSUE FOR YOU.

Shawn says IT WAS NOT AN ISSUE.
STILL, IT WAS A PSYCHOLOGICAL
ISSUE BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN I FELT
LIKE I'M... I FELT LIKE A EUNUCH
OR SOMETHING.
IT'S BEEN 15 YEARS SINCE... I'VE
BEEN CANCER-FREE.
THEY'VE BEEN MONITORING ME, BUT
15 YEARS.

Steve says DO WE SAY YOU'RE CURED?

Shawn says I WOULD SAY I'M CURED BUT I'M
ALWAYS IN CHARGE OF MY HEALTH
AND ALWAYS CHECKING.
THEY CHECK YOU A LITTLE CLOSER
IN THE BEGINNING.
BUT AT ONE POINT THEY GIVE YOU A
HANDSHAKE AND SAY YOU'RE
CANCER-FREE.

Steve says WARREN, LET'S FINISH
UP ON THIS.
OUR GENERATION, WE'VE
ESTABLISHED, IS PRETTY MISERABLE
ABOUT TALKING ABOUT THESE
ISSUES.
WHAT ABOUT THE GENERATION COMING
UP BEHIND US?
OUR KIDS' AGES, ARE THEY BETTER
AT THIS?

Warren says I HAVE THREE CHILDREN.
I SPEAK TO THEM VERY OPENLY
ABOUT MY SITUATION.
I ENCOURAGE THEM TO SEE DOCTORS.
I HAVE A VERY GOOD RAPPORT WITH
THEM, AND I THINK THEIR
EXPERIENCES WILL BE VERY, VERY
DIFFERENT.
AND IF THERE'S ANYTHING THAT I
CAN IMPART ON THEM BECAUSE OF MY
EXPERIENCE AND THAT THEY CAN
IMPART ON THEIR FRIENDS, I DO
SEE A SHIFT.
THEY'RE NOT AFRAID CERTAINLY TO
TALK TO ME ABOUT HEALTH ISSUES.
I HAVE A SON AND TWO DAUGHTERS.
MY DAUGHTERS TALK TO ME PRETTY
MUCH ABOUT MOST HEALTH THINGS,
AND THEY'RE NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK
UP WHEN THEY THINK IT'S
NECESSARY.
SO I DO THINK THERE IS A SHIFT
SIMILAR... MY PARENTS'
GENERATION AND THEIR PARENTS'
GENERATION, TO MY CHILDREN, I DO
SEE A CHANGE.

Steve says AND YOUR SON?

Warren says MY SON IS HEALTHY, HE'S
GREAT.
HE TALKS TO ME.

Steve says HE'S OPEN WITH YOU...

Warren says HE'S OPEN WITH ME.
HE GOES TO DOCTORS.
AND IF I SEE THAT THERE IS A
HESITATION, I'LL PROVIDE SOME
CAREFUL ENCOURAGEMENT AND
GUIDANCE.
AT THIS STAGE WE CAN ONLY
PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO OUR
CHILDREN.

Shawn says
WARREN, I THINK THE MESSAGE IS
BOTH OF US ARE LIVING IN A
HEALTHY, POSITIVE WAY.
I HAVE A NORMAL SEX LIFE.
PEOPLE THINK IT'S THE END FOR
THEM.
I HAVE A NORMAL SEX LIFE.
I'M HAPPY, I'M COMFORTABLE, I
HAD REPLACEMENT SALINE BALLS PUT
IN.
IT'S NOT SUCH A DOOM AND GLOOM
THING.
IF WE JUST GET THAT MESSAGE
ACROSS TO PEOPLE.

Warren says I THINK IT'S
VERY IMPORTANT.

Shawn says YOU'RE
LIVING AN AMAZING POSITIVE LIFE.

Warren says I WATER SKI,
I'M SEXUALLY ACTIVE...

Shawn says NOT
WHILE YOU'RE WATERSKIING.

Steve says THERE'S THE HUMOUR
AGAIN.

Shawn says IT'S
GOT TO BE THERE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Liane Kotler, @LianeKotler."

Steve says I WANT TO THANK BOTH
OF YOU FOR COMING IN AND SHARING
YOUR STORIES WITH US. I REALLY
THINK THESE KINDS OF
CONVERSATIONS MOVE THE
YARDSTICKS ALONG AND HELP US
UNDERSTAND IT ALL A LOT BETTER.
SHAWN PAUL THOMPSON,
WARREN KOTLER, REALLY
GOOD OF YOU TO JOIN US AT TVO
TONIGHT. THANKS SO MUCH.

Warren says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Shawn says PLEASURE TO BE HERE.

Watch: Healthy Men: Strong But Not Silent