prostate cancer, robert frost, and the road less traveled

"say whaaaaat?"

I know you’ve read the poem, ” the road not taken” my mother referred to it as the road “less traveled” and that is the problem with the common interpretation. It is more complicated than you would think and may have a different meaning than you thought. It also has a prostate cancer decision implication. This is the tease. Read the poem a couple of times and then see what you really think it’s about,  then apply to prostate cancer and the decisions related to that. And then of course we find that Frost had prostate cancer and died of complications of  it, albeit at an old age. More later… I have a little story to tell about the poem that I’ll share tomorrow. Enjoy this classic, it has so many turns. Research what Frost himself said about it. Hint: the road less traveled is not necessarily the  better one.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

…Robert Frost

About.comProstate Cancer

Robert Frost and Prostate Cancer

By , Guide

Updated January 02, 2009 Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

Robert Frost was an American poet who wrote extensively about life in late 19th and early 20th century America.

During his life, Frost was one of the most respected and well-known American poets. He received numerous awards, including four Pulitzer prizes for poetry and over 40 honorary degrees. His work was known around the world.

Frost’s Health and Prostate Problems

Frost suffered from a number of health problems throughout his life, including depression. Toward the end of his life, he developed severe bladder and prostate problems that forced him to endure several lengthy hospital stays and undergo numerous treatments of varying effectiveness.

In 1962, while living in the Boston area, Frost was diagnosed with prostate cancer1 and subsequently underwent prostate surgery2.

Around this same time, Frost had reportedly suffered from a bladder infection, or cystitis, as well. Bladder infections are common in men who have urinary obstruction3 (which is commonly caused by an enlarged4 or cancerous prostate).

Frost never returned to full health following his surgery. He eventually developed a blood clot in the lungs (a pulmonary embolism), which led to his death in 1963.


Pritchard WH. Frost’s Life and Career. Modern American Poetry. 2001.

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2 Replies to “prostate cancer, robert frost, and the road less traveled”

  1. john,i found a medical report,saying the doctors at Baylor are not taking T1C for granted any more, TO MANY POSITIVE MARGINS,worse cancers,they have changed way of treating t1c because most are worst cancers,more pretesting,second biopsy,and careful during surgery,and telling the patient what the risk are of margins,instead of rushing them into surgery.


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