Cancer affects everyone. That's the hard cold truth. Whether it be the people you know, the Bowie's of the world or the strangers we just walk by on the street, we are all susceptible to it, but we never really think it will ever happen to us or threaten the lives of our loved ones. Not now...not even soon. At least I never thought it would happen to me when it did.
I believe in free speech and uphold Fury's right to say what he wants. I am less supportive of a public-funded body who choose to reinforce hate-filled views via an awards nomination but I am glad I have a right to respond.
Hodgkin's is rare - there are only 1600 or so new diagnoses in the UK each year. So I feel pretty unlucky. But then again it's not rare to get something. And in fact the lifetime incidence of Hodgkin's is in the region of one in 500.
We need more male survivors of childhood sexual abuse to come forward and we need the media to report their stories. Boys and young men need role models too, so it is time to ask the question, why do the media ignore male survivors?
Men have huge egos, fed by the modern society, the media and what we watch on TV, our fathers, our mates... this painted picture of what it takes to be a 'real man' is defeating us.
There is a framework showing how men cope with mental health concerns (particularly depression) in ways that escalate - the 'big build'. It is suggested that men initially begin with 'acting in' behaviours, such as 'avoidance' (e.g. overwork), 'numbing it' (through drug or alcohol use) and 'escaping it' (through increased risk-taking behaviours like gambling or having extra-marital affairs).
A question that keeps running round and round in my mind is - how many other young men like myself are out there worried, not wanting to go to the doctors and unsure what they're checking for/how often do they need to check and what to do if they find something.
As it turns out International Men's Day focuses 'on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.' Which is fine. Count me in. What becomes alarming is what 'promoting gender equality' actually means in this context.
If he chose to reveal himself and his status, then that would be a story, and a positive story at that. But it is certainly not his responsibility to do so, despite what The Sun might think and who have, in the process, potentially helped undo years of work battling the stigma attached to HIV.
I had a number of tests which came back showing that I had a low sperm count. I felt devastated that this was happening to us and we had no control over it. We were told we would not be able to have children and advised to go down the donor route.
It's never easy to talk about having a fertility problem, and many people who have difficulty conceiving prefer not to tell anyone beyond their very close family and friends. Now, a new study has revealed quite what a taboo subject infertility still is for many men.
Did you know that bowel cancer is the UK's second biggest cancer killer? Each year more than 41,000 people are diagnosed with the disease, but if caught early, more than 90% of cases can be treated successfully. That's why I'm supporting Beating Bowel Cancer's Decembeard campaign.
We need to get to the point that men feel as at ease talking about their mental health as they would a broken arm. We need to help men equate seeking help not with weakness, but with doing something that shows courage and strength. It is, after all, profoundly brave to face up to something as stigmatised as a mental health problem. Ultimately, we have to acknowledge that big boys can and do cry. And that's okay.
Writing this blog has given me the opportunity to think quite a lot about it and, my honest answer, God knows! I like that there are so many variations of what a real man is now, I like that we have baking shows on television and two of the top three contestants are men, I like that our role as men is not defined and it looks like it will forever evolve and very much for the better.
The truth is I care deeply about fighting for women's equality and I will do all I can to use my expertise to do this in my time in Parliament. I won't apologise for that. But I also care about issues that affect men and I will do all I can to make this better too. After all I'm a woman, I can multitask.
The fact that there is, unbelievably in 21st Century Britain, still a taboo surrounding mental illness. Taken along with late presentation of symptoms, and the availability of treatment, it represents one of the main reasons for poor outcomes. Is this problem worse among men? My own experience as both a GP and as an MP would tend to suggest that it is...