The traditional idea of a hypochondriac is generally thought of as a male, and yet in general, men are far less likely to go the doctors than their female counterparts. Even excluding occasions like pregnancy and childbirth, men are still trailing when it comes to looking after their health, so maybe the hypochondriac was onto something after all.
Although perhaps attitudes are beginning to slowly change, and the modern generation of men is more likely to seek medical advice than previous ones have been, just why do so many men risk their health by not visiting the doctor? With already a shorter average lifespan than the ladies, you’d think men would be first in line.
The idea of the macho man
It might sound old-fashioned, but it is true that the concept of the manly macho man who doesn’t feel or complain of pain or illness does have a role to play. Many men can think those niggling pains aren’t worth the bother of going to the doctors, but since it is your health we’re talking about, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Besides, choosing to visit the doctor is nobody’s business but your own.
Women’s diseases are more openly acknowledged
Up until recent years, common men’s diseases have been swept under the rug a bit, and not open to general discussion. In comparison, women’s diseases like breast cancer and ovarian cancer are not only open talked of, but screening is a natural part of any woman’s adult life. Breast cancer is of course one of the biggest cancer killers for women, and yet has much better survival rates than prostate cancer for instance, largely in part due to the fact that women know what abnormalities they should be looking out for.
With most diseases, the earlier you catch it the better it is, and it is always a good idea to at least be familiar with what to look out for. Thanks to the internet it’s easy to do a bit of your own research (within reason!) – just have a look at sites like Cancer Research UK for comprehensive information on cancers and their symptoms.
Fear of surgery
Whilst this isn’t a problem that is only experienced by men, if you’re already somewhat wary of doctors, then the thought of surgery isn’t going to fill you with reassurance either. This is largely down to fear of the unknown though, since medical professionals have years of study and experience under their belts, and with a skilled team who all know what they’re doing, there is no need to fear going under the surgeon’s scalpel. Whatever procedure you would be going through, there are lots of guides that walk you through the process, as well as the advice of your medical team. For instance, for clear information on prostate cancer surgery, have a look at this article at Birmingham Prostate Clinic. Forewarned is forearmed after all.
Visiting the doctors should be a natural part of your life, and there is no point in risking your health when there are medical professionals at hand. So whatever preconceived idea of the traditional manly man you have in your head, it is time to let it go and realise the modern man puts his health first.