Just a, nevertheless somewhat serious, pondering in between. I had already also noticed that women ask more questions about GIST and respond to them, than men. Roughly speaking (statistically not substantiated) even 4-5 times as often. But Marian posed the question to me, why? As a man, my first reaction was “a typical woman question”. But nevertheless, it started me thinking.
So I start first with some research on the Internet and it shows that the number of men and women who have GIST is similar. In other words, there are men who do respond, but proportionately much less.
In addition, I incidentally and unexpectedly made a, at least for me, very remarkable discovery, namely that in the Netherlands the number of patients with GIST has increased significantly in recent years. According to a database of the Dutch Cancer Registry, there were in 2000 about 40 patients a year, and by 2013 that had risen to nearly 200 (out of a population of 16-17 million). Is that because GIST is better and earlier recognized, or has there actually been an increase?
An additional question, but with that I still had no answer to the question of Marian.
The most obvious assumption is that many men simply do not ask about GIST, because they already know everything about it. And that applies apparently not for women. And in all honesty also not for me. If I’m still learning about something, then it is about GIST. Moreover, you often see that women, usual a wife, daughter or girlfriend, are asking questions on behalf of men. In short, men seem to know no more (or less) than women, but do not ask the questions themselves. Although, this observation brings me no closer to an answer.
Another reason may be, that most men do not have time to ask questions or give answers. Because they are too busy with more important pastimes. But that also sounds implausible to me. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, with the remark by your doctor that there is no possible cure, that would be having a high attention on your list. At least if you have a little sense of reality. Burying your head in the sand and pretending the problem does not exist is not the right way.
So I dig a little further in the minds of men, and come across an idea, that I also immediately reject. Namely that men are afraid to ask questions. Because the answers would possible confirm that they actually have a great (health) problem. A problem that you can not solve yourself, and therefore a terrifying idea. Fortunately, that is of course nonsense. Real men are after all not so easily frightened. Is that not right?
So in the end, I could not really find an answer. Actually only the conclusion that most other men also not have knowledge about GIST. But why don’t they ask or respond to any questions? No idea. But if someone else has the answer, please let me know. If only because I want to please Marian.
P.S. Gentlemen, if you unexpectedly find the subject of this blog a bit uncomfortable, my sincere apologies. As you might understand, I try to to please my wife … (and always look for anwers myself).