We tell boys to be brave, to 'man' up. If they are gentle or show emotion they are often called a 'girl', as if that was a weakness. Compassion is seen as a feminine characteristic, undesirable in men - with tragic consequences.
This morning a colleague updated me on the situation of a man called Kevin that we have been in touch with over recent months, whose prostate cancer is terminal and has spread to his bones.
People expect that anything as serious as cancer will have obvious symptoms which will warn them to get a check up. But early stage prostate cancer doesn't usually have any: no visible lumps to look out for, no funny pains to get checked out.
Nine down, one to go - the end really is in sight. We've been over hills, down dales, along canals, over fields and stiles. Truly a walk on the wild side for this gentleman of the road and my trusty wingman Russ Green, who has walked every step with me. And we're getting cracking support as we inch closer to the finish.
I deal in statistics - but the prostate cancer ones are totally shocking. One man dies every hour from this disease. That's six during Soccer Saturday every week. Yes, my feet are killing me. But who cares if it will save even one man's life?
Just two days to go... Maybe you've heard about the 10 marathons I'm walking in 10 days to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK? Why am I doing it? Everybody must know somebody who suffers from prostate cancer. One man dies every hour from this disease, that's six in the course of my Soccer Saturday show every week.
10,900 men die of prostate cancer every year. That's one every hour. 44,000 are diagnosed every 12 months, and one in every three diagnosed will die of the disease. I could go on, but I won't. Enough to say that these stats, which are bad anyway, are heading in the wrong direction.
Men United is one team I am happy to support, without question. Sometimes we have to turn a blind eye to our friends little quirks and oddities, I know I did. My best mate is an Evertonian, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Red. And that's exactly what Prostate Cancer UK wants us all to do: get your friends together and do something great to beat this horrible disease that affects one in eight men.
On the whole things are bearable, though it never ceases to amaze me how they manage to come up with new and inventive ways to torture a person in the name of making them better. Susan Sontag (her again) said that "the treatment is worse than the disease", and the whole thing does feel incredibly counterintuitive at times.
Five years ago, we could have lost my own father Michael Bradbury to prostate cancer, the men-only disease which kills one man in the UK every single hour. Put another way, it means 24 prostate cancer deaths on Father's Day alone - or 168 during Men's Health Week.
I know I'm biased (and I'm sure other organisations who work with volunteers will say the same) but I have never worked with a group of people whose commitment to the cause is so absolute... They fundraise, raise awareness, share their knowledge and experience, and talk from the heart. And they save lives. Our volunteers are amazing. Every day of the year.
At Prostate Cancer UK, we recognised a while ago that sport is a great avenue for bringing men together and talking with them about prostate cancer, not just preaching to them from the side lines.
Unfortunately, in this case a process which is of huge public interest has gone on behind closed doors rather than adopting the transparent and inclusive approach that was promised by politicians and civil servants alike. It fuels suspicion that the decision was made on a muddle of flawed criteria.
The trouble is who's going to be brave enough to stand up - particularly in the run up to a general election - and state that they think having a massive pot of money to help treat cancer patients needs a rethink? All the political announcements so far have been about extending the CDF and nobody is really talking about reform because it is not exactly a vote winner. We need to engage the public in this important debate as it's one that gets to the very heart of our health care system, and the value that we as a society place on the quality of life for all patients.
Scientists too - especially those whose work is more about understanding prostate cancer biology than developing new treatments - can sometimes feel like the clinical sterility of their lab is a long way from the living, breathing men behind the numbers. These men, when you stop to think about it, are the reason they get out of bed in the morning.
You and I both know that charities are great at churning out stats, but with one in eight men (and an astonishing one in four black men) affected by prostate cancer in their lifetime, these numbers quickly become brothers, best mates, uncles, grandfathers, and even sons.