“It will pass” or “I don’t need a doctor, it’s nothing serious.”
The words that can be heard as a man slowly gets up to complain about his illness when consulting a doctor is often ignored or the last consideration.
A survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic in 2016 confirms that men’s health is rarely talked about within a male demographic with other subjects often preferred to the talk of incontinence or even the consistent migraine that prevented a round of golf last week.
The telephone survey asked over 500 men of different ages to provide information from a series of questions around the medical profession and their reluctance to visit a doctor. Interesting figures emerged from the findings, with seven percent of men confirming they will never go to see a doctor and only three out of five men are prepared to go through an annual health check up.
A more comprehensive survey compiled from data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014 confirmed the greater reluctance among men with 11.6% not visiting a medical professional in the last two years or more. Women’s results were at around half that figure- 5.7%.
Men in the United States suffer more severe chronic conditions, death rates for all 15 leading causes of death are higher, and they die nearly seven years younger than the opposite sex.
Early diagnosis and prompt medical treatment has been known to save lives and is often regarded as a lifesaver for men over 50, particularly when cancer and heart disease cases are considered.
The profession is there to help and improve the quality of lives, so why is there a greater reluctance among the male population?
The cultural understanding that men should maintain a macho status is often viewed as one of greatest contributors that keep individuals away. The personality strait of showing strength remains consistent through generations and generations, even though there has been more equality between men and women. Overhearing a story about a sports injury while talking up his achievements in a 60-minute workout is more common than hearing about the journey through chemotherapy.
The self-reliance and resilience attitude has been a tough barrier to break down for medical groups, with the loss of earnings from work and business also proving a significant factor. Having to take time-off to visit the doctor means losing money, where male figures still remain the main “breadwinner” in the majority of U.S. two-parent households.
The fear of the known and the acceptance of an underlying medical condition, however, are pivotal for many men delaying or not visiting the medical centre at a potential crucial time. Facing the possibility or knowing your time is coming to an end is a daunting thing for many with females coping better knowing their fate.
So what can be done and, how much can be done?
Many health campaigns within the United States and the United Kingdom have often targeted the doctor-fearing male into taking the trip to the medical centre for a health check, which has proven to be beneficial, as the numbers throughout the years have gradually reduced. This has been achieved through facts regarding certain diseases and promoting knowledge with specific symptoms to look for.
Using social media platforms as a way of interacting with the public, especially for many “millennials,” allows doctors to spread their communication to a wider audience without the need of an appointment. Getting business on board and promoting incentives for better health is also worth investigating.
Further multiple factors are worth consideration as an improvement in this matter saves lives. It needs investment though, and with the health ‘crisis’” in the United Kingdom and Obamacare falling flat under President Trump, the money remains to be seen.