Take your breasts seriously

As a teenage boy in the ’80s, I had good reason to suspect that female breasts were the most exciting things on earth.

My classmates whispered about them whenever the opportunity presented itself, which was most of the day.

The American Medical Association says a total of 251,000 people were killed by guns throughout the world in 2016.

The Cancer Journal for Clinicians reports that 626,000 died of breast cancer in the same year.

The shocking truth is that female breasts have become much more dangerous than guns.

Breast cancer is not a women’s problem. Men get it, too.

It is often men who discover the first telltale lumps.

It’s time that my gender accepts its responsibility to fight as hard against this scourge as women do. And that women share the front lines in this fight with us.

It is usually women that are diagnosed with it, but it is a threat that we are all facing.

Breast cancer is killing our nation’s mothers, sisters and wives at an alarming rate.

One in every 27 South African women will get breast cancer, yet you, dear reader, continue to whisper about it like teenage boys in the ’80s.

To quote that exceptional young Swedish climate activist Gretha Thunberg: “How dare you!”

Nasa announced this week that it expects to find evidence in the next two or three years that life evolved on Mars at some stage. I don’t know how I will react to such news.

But I truly hope they find signs of intelligent life … I don’t see much of it here on Earth.

Our hush-hush approach to a threat as serious as breast cancer borders on stupidity.

If there’s intelligent life out there, I assure you the future intergalactic history books won’t look at us kindly for making breast cancer only an October problem.

But I could be wrong – I’m an idiot when it comes to understanding Homo sapiens.

I often don’t even understand the lovely Snapdragon, and she shares a bed, a home and a life with me.

But I understand her better than the rest of my fellow humans – they’re downright alien to me.

Maybe the life forms on Mars will make more sense to me. If they take their breasts more seriously, I’m emigrating.

Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell

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