Healthy Men See Their Doc

Healthy manIt’s well known that most men would rather suffer in silence than go to the doctor – unless they have a woman in their life to push them into making an appointment.

New research shows men who live alone are 40 per cent less likely to get screened for prostate cancer than men who are married or have a “significant other”.

Although the research doesn’t spell out why this is,  we can all guess it’s the wife or partner, used to years of submitting to cervical cancer smears and mammograms, who encourages her man to just suck it up and go do it.

‘Blokes’ Dying Too Soon

That male reluctance to see the doctor has led to a significantly higher numbers of “ordinary blokes” dying much earlier than they need to from preventable, treatable diseases.

And that’s one statistic that Kiwi doctor Dave Baldwin is working hard to change.

Dr Dave knows how to be humorous about a very serious subject, and he’s spent years working on shattering the silence on men’s health issues as a country GP (general practitioner) and pioneer in aviation medicine offering a mobile medical service for pilots.

(He had three years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force attached to the A-4 Skyhawks of 75 Squadron, holds a commercial pilot’s license and lists his Cessna 172 Hawk XP2 alongside wife Sandi as the “loves of his life”.)

Now with his newly published book Healthy Bastards-  A Bloke’s Guide to Being Healthy (Random House NZ) one of New Zealand’s most adventurous medics is giving “the lowdown on prostates and peckers” – and a lot more besides – for men tempted to just ignore their symptoms and soldier on.

The Word According to Dr Dave

Dr Dave emphasises there is a serious message underlying his humorous approach to medicine; men can expect to live an average of four years less than women and are dying from cancers, heart disease and cardiovascular disease at higher rates.

He cites coronary heart disease as one case – men are almost twice as likely as women to die from it.

Some other titbits from Healthy Bastards

  • Cancer cells are “like a boy racer on P – basically out of control”.
  • Bowel cancer symptoms fit two types – on the left side (from anus to half way up) cancers tend to cause blockages and result in altered bowel habits – alternating constipation and diarrhoea, while on the right side (from halfway along the large intestine to where it merges with small intestine) cancers tend to be large, bleed, and cause blood in the faeces.
  • STD’s can cause long term problems such as infertility and chronic pain. Condoms provide some, but not total protection.  If you use lubricants, make them water-based (like KY jelly) as the oil-based ones like Vaseline can weaken the condom.
  • Diabetes shouldn’t hold you back and is manageable. Some of New Zealand’s top sportspeople – notably cricketer Craig McMillan have diabetes.  Warning signs are a constant raging thirst, lack of energy and “pissing like crazy.”

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