When it comes to going to the doctor, men tend to wait until something needs to be fixed, according to a recent survey. The practice is risky, experts say. Reluctance to take an early and regular approach to detection may result in a man ending up with late-stage disease.
Men are still the boys in the schoolyard, rejecting hurt unless a bone is sticking out of their skin, says Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, director of Men’s Health Boston, and an associate clinical professor of urology at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It’s manly to be tough.”
In fact, 63% of men surveyed say prolonged severe pain is the main breaking point that prompts a doctor visit, according to the Men’s Health Network and Abbott survey of more than 2,000 men 18 and older. The survey tracks men’s health perceptions and behaviors and compares men’s and women’s attitudes about health.
While more than three-quarters of men have a primary care physician (PCP) and 69% have had a check-up or wellness screening in the past year, only about one in three are “very knowledgeable” about the health impact of high blood pressure and glucose levels. Fewer still are “very knowledgeable” about good and bad cholesterol, their correct caloric intake, the impact of a high-sodium diet, and the implications of high PSA levels, the survey says.