Men have specific health needs that require attention at various points throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, many Australian men do not take the time required to take care of themselves by visiting the GP as often as they should. Many deny feeling unwell or concerned at first and would prefer to ‘shrug it off’ rather then address a health problem.
Compared to women, men visit the doctor less frequently, have shorter visits, and only attend when their illness is in its later stages. This is a major cause for concern in today’s society. For instance, did you know that Men die in greater numbers than women from almost every non-gender-specific health problem?*
Just like a well-tuned ute, the male body needs to have regular maintenance and servicing to avoid having a breakdown or burnout. Work, bills and family pressure can trigger a range of health issues, mentally and physically. The best tip we can offer you is to find a Doctor whom you feel comfortable with and have a yearly health check and a chat about your overall happiness, health and fitness levels (even if you don’t feel like there is anything obviously ‘wrong’).
Your age matters…
This is most important for males in Australia who are middle aged. By working with your GP, many serious health problems can either be avoided through risk/behaviour modification or early detection, allowing optimal management prior to the onset of complications.
Between 45 and 64 years of age is prime time for determining patient risk factors and offering screening for health conditions. Multimorbidity, particularly physical–mental health comorbidity, is an important issue in mid-life years. Planned health checks in general practice of middle-aged adults have been demonstrated to improve the management of smoking, nutrition, alcohol and physical activity (SNAP) behavioural risk factors, screening for bowel cancer and hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol).
Additional areas that may be addressed during a men’s health check include:
- skin checks
- mental health
- diabetes risk assessment
- erectile/sexual dysfunction and
- prostate checks.
SmartClinics centres in The Gap and Walton Bridge also offer vasectomy.
Still not convinced?
In 2013 prostate cancer accounted for the second highest number of deaths from cancer among males in Australia. It is estimated that it will remain the 2nd most common cause of death from cancer among males in 2016, with a staggering one in seven Australian men being diagnosed in their lifetime. According to Cancer Australia, the estimated number of deaths from prostate cancer in 2016 is 3398. Comparatively, breast cancer is expected to contribute to 3073 deaths this year. It is important for men to realise that there’s often no signs or symptoms or early prostate cancer. Hence, talking to your GP and talking about the potential benefit of prostate screening is an important step. Early detection of a potentially aggressive prostate cancer offers the best chance of a positive outcome. If cancer is diagnosed, it can be monitored under the guidance of a urologist, which offers us the best opportunity to determine it’s nature and need to either act or actively monitor.
So if you haven’t seen a GP in a year, please don’t keep putting it off. Do yourself a favour and see a Doctor today for a general health check up!
*WWW.ABS.GOV.AU MENS HEALTH 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, Jun 2010