Bret “Hitman” Hart has always kept up a close connection with his fans. His 2007 book “Hitman” divulged a lifetime’s-worth of details that gave us a very raw account of his pro wrestling experience. Since then, he’s maintained that open approach to PR and fan interaction, a gift for fans because Bret is not just opinionated but thoughtful and well spoken. His interviews and social media accounts have been used to promote his varied appearances, charitable organizations, and unapologetic takes on pro wrestling.
Today Bret shared some very sad news on his facebook page: a diagnosis of prostate cancer. With so many wrestlers having died at a young age, and even having had a stroke himself in 2002, Bret always seemed impervious to the ailments and demons that plague pro wrestlers. In today’s post that he shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, he also pulled back the curtain on everything that’s been going on with him, and in typical Himan fashion, he says it with eloquence.
There’s also a story on WWE.com wishing the Hall of Famer well, as we all do.
Heather’s Take: Normally I wouldn’t deem it my place to be “giving a take” on such tragic news beyond saying that I stand with Bret’s many fans in wishing him a full recovery. I asked to report on this for TJRWrestling because I have experience with prostate cancer in my family. It is very understandable that Bret did not provide details of his diagnosis: whether the cancer was detected in its early stages, the manner in which it was detected, how far it has advanced and whether it has spread. These details are private, and so I’m not going to make wild presumptions about what this diagnosis means for Bret.
This is what I do know, and the vast majority of you reading this should care:
- The prostate is a gland located near a man’s bladder. Its job is to secrete fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. The older you get, the more likely it is that you’ll get prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the more well understood cancers, and can be successfully treated if detected early.
- IF YOU ARE A MAN. IF YOU ARE RELATED TO A MAN, OR EVEN LIKE A MAN: understanding and treatment mean nothing if not detected!! How do you protect yourself or detect early?
- If you are under the age of 50 and do not have a family history of prostate cancer, a healthy lifestyle is your best bet. Specifically, a diet that has less dairy and red meat but lots of vegetables. Regular exercise. No smoking. Less alcohol. We should all be doing this, prostates or not.
- If you are over the age of 50 or have a family history of prostate cancer (ASK. I DON’T CARE IF IT’S NEAR YOUR HOO-HOO DILLY, WOULD YOU RATHER BE EMBARRASSED OR DEAD?), then you would be well-served to request a regular PSA test from your doctor. The PSA test measures the amount of proteins in your blood that have been produced by your prostate. Once they have a baseline for your PSA level, they can check it regularly to ensure it is not increasing to unhealthy levels for you. Those rectal checks that everyone jokes about will also help to identify if your prostate is enlarged.
- If you have any of these symptoms, at any age, regardless of family history, go see a doctor: trouble urinating, painful urinating, blood in urine or semen.
Basically, if your penis is acting up (or acting down), go and show it to an expert. Why not take care of something you treasure so deeply? Bret Hart would want you to. I am hopeful that his battle against cancer will not only lead to full remission but also to many more men listening to their bodies and being proactive.
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Take care, all.