Darth Vader battling prostate cancer

Darth Vader battling prostate cancer

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Here's one instance where you'll find yourself rooting for the empire-- living colossus David Prowse, most known for filling the shoes, cape and mask of Darth Vader, is battling prostate cancer, and has been undergoing radiation therapy since early 2009.

Don't worry, fellow nerds-- he's feeling fine, he says, fit as a fiddle, and is quite happy with the treatment he's getting at Royal Marsden Hospital.

The physical ailment came as a shock to Prowse, who's aids informed him of his body's sole vulnerability, the small gland tucked deep within his backside. Sources say that Prowse was warned that, although unlikely, a scattering of rugged but outnumbered cancer cells did pose a threat. Prowse, at a gargantuan 6 foot 6, stated that he had no intention to flee "in his hour of triumph," stating that that his aids were overestimating the chances that cancer cells could exploit so small an opening.

So, as a public service to our goodly readers, Gimme Noise offers some tips on how to examine your own prostate, courtesy of the good people at a Health Central. At the very least, it might prove to be a good bit of showertime fun for our woefully under-insured out there. Happy hunting, gang!

Prostate Self-Exam

It's easy for a man to feel his own prostate gland. It's a walnut-sized organ at the base of the bladder. It can be felt with the tip of a finger inserted into the rectum. Its texture and firmness should be similar to that of the flesh between your thumb and the rest of the hand when you make a tight fist. If you feel anything that is as firm as the knuckle, then that needs to be brought to a physician's attention.

How you reach the prostate, of course, is up to you. Some men may do the exam in the shower, where soap can be used as a lubricant. This can be a little tricky, because you need to get the palm surface of your finger in contact with the prostate, although the fingernail surface can be used for a cursory examination. You may feel more comfortable if you wear a thin latex glove.

Self-Exam With Partner

Occasionally, you see hospitals welcoming husbands and boyfriends into their breast self-examination classes. The idea is that perhaps the woman is more likely to get her breast examined if her partner is doing it. The same goes here.

It's not difficult to teach your partner how to examine your prostate gland. Aesthetics aside, this is something every individual couple has to decide if they want to do.

Many men can tell when their prostate is being touched because it's very sensitive. If you're having someone else do it, you'll know immediately when they reach paydirt. If you're doing it yourself, it will also be obvious.

Most folks are surprised by how deep they have to reach. You'd have to have long fingers, indeed, to reach completely to the far end of the prostate gland, but in medicine we are content to touch as much of the surface as possible.

As with breast self-examination, you want to cover all surfaces, and you should be consistent in how you approach it. Use a sweeping motion of the finger on one side, and then switch to the other side, to make sure that you cover as much of the surface as possible.

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