Men’s health. What does this statement conjure up in your mind? A Cialis commercial? Hair Club for Men? Advertising for razors and athlete’s foot powder? As a feminist, I will be the first to point out that so much of our culture is dominated by men. Everything from salaries, sports, employment, you name it, is skewed towards our male population. Women have made tremendous progress, but still a ways to go! However, there is one area of our society and culture where women really get the spotlight these days, and that happens to be in medicine. I think this happens for a lot of reasons. Men historically have always been taught to be “tough guys,” and so often do not seek out medical care as frequently. There also has been so much publicity in recent years for women’s health issues like Breast Cancer. Women are a somewhat captive audience, since starting at a young age we see a gynecologist at least every couple of years. Additionally, women are often the members of the household who are “in charge” of healthcare decisions, like which pediatrician to use, which over the counter medications are purchased, and even decisions about care of elderly parents. Advertisers and marketers know this, and so much of the advertising that we see in health care is subtly skewed towards a female audience.
So, it’s time for the all the men out there to get on board, and start taking more control of their own health! The truth is, women are longer lived than men, and men often die at younger ages of preventable diseases. Let’s look at some statistics:
Top 5 causes of death in Men in the US:
Percentage of men with:
The majority of the health problems above are associated with leading causes of death, the one exception being accidental death. So, if we could get more men to be pro-active about their health and get routine screenings done, I think we would all agree that the men in our lives would be in better shape! So, what are the recommended screenings and preventive care for men?
Of course, there are situations when the above screenings would be done sooner, or more frequently, as in the case of a family history of certain diseases, or with symptoms that develop. Men under the age of 40 can typically see their doctor every 5 years or so for a routine check and as needed in between for symptoms.
So, ladies, time to get those guys in for their checkups! A lot of men who come into my office arrive on my doorstep “because my wife told me I needed to come in.” Doesn’t matter how they get there, as long as they show up!!
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