Women consult physicians 30% more than men. It has been said that many men have a fear of physicians which causes avoidance. This may be so, but avoidance may also be due to the fact that boys who suffer injuries are encouraged “to be a big boy,” and “grin and bear it” instead of receiving the sympathy and attention given to girls who hurt themselves. Girls grow up expecting treatment for what ails them; boys tend to tough it out alone. Women see illness as something for which you see a physician; men see it as a weakness in themselves, and they don’t want to own up to weakness. This attitude is now being treated as a health issue. Avoiding the physician may lead to delayed discovery of a life-threatening condition too late for treatment, or a serious impairment which could have been avoided.

A comparison of the rates of serious diseases in men and women shows a disquieting disparity between the two sexes and shows clearly why men should see a physician more often.

Men’s throat/mouth cancer rates are more than double those of women.
Men’s lung cancer rates are about triple those of women.
Men’s AIDS infection cases are about five times those of women.
Men’s rates of bladder cancer are just over three times those of women.
Men suffer almost four times as many heart attacks as women.

In most cases, by the time a man with a serious condition sees a physician, it has progressed to a far later stage than that at which a woman generally seeks aid.

The average woman lives six and a half years longer than the average man. That’s a lot of time for enjoying life, family and friends. Who wants to lose that? No one does. So, gentlemen, you need to make plans to guard your health or become healthier. See your physician this month (if you have one, and 33% of men do not), have a physical, stop putting it off. Death rates among men would be reduced if men would seek help before their diseases reached a critical stage. Think of Jim Henson who waited too long (he’s dead) and Bob Dole who went early for treatment (he’s alive).

Your physical should include tests for the following:

Cholesterol level
Colon cancer
High blood pressure
Prostate cancer

All families would benefit from men’s improved health. The death of a married man usually leaves a widow, frequently an elderly one. This is a heavy emotional burden and as it may lead to medical conditions such as depression, it places a financial burden on the family and the health care system. Increasing men’s life spans by a very few years would make a great difference to families and society as a whole.