The expansion of human knowledge comes through hard work, cooperation of many forces, and research. Medical research requires the cooperation of doctors and patients and more. It also requires the availability of resources: Buildings, laboratories, computers, statisticians, and the like. These resources cost money.
Research into many diseases has gained real support by public awareness campaigns that have to varying degrees relied upon attention generated by celebrities. For example, AIDS research gained from the support of actress Elizabeth Taylor and diabetes research has gained from the support of the actress Mary Tyler Moore.
While men have historically been more reluctant to speak publicly about illness than women, this trend has changed. Prostate cancer, a disease of men, has in recent years been associated with public attention from male celebrities. For example, our patient, the religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who lost his brother to prostate cancer, spoke about his experience with prostate cancer on TV's 700 Club. Likewise, our patient Ken Griffey, Sr. has openly shared his experience with prostate cancer.
The epidemiology of chronic prostatitis is such that one would expect that it affects celebrities, too. Likewise, the symptoms and comorbidities are such that one would expect the afflicted to speak publicly, as has happened with prostate cancer and so many other illnesses. These expectations appear unmet. Even when prostatitis is mentioned publicly, it appears as an afterthought. So it was when Phil Aronson told Oprah about his depression, which he says was precipitated by the pain of prostatitis.
Perhaps the only case in which prostatitis was the actual object of public attention was Panic, a play produced by the British group Improbable. The play centers on the pelvic pain of its artistic director and how he was inspired by the Greek god Pan to find a solution. The prostatitis based play made its debut at the Sydney Opera House in October, 2010.
Perphaps when prostatitis advocacy becomes better organized more celebrities will lend their names to energize it.