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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
More action needed on male health

In this week's reader's article, office worker Derek Mack calls for more to be done to raise awareness and provide services for male health problems.

MEN MISSING OUT ON HEALTH SCREENING

As a relatively healthy 40-year-old male it strikes me that there is too little being done to alert men to the potentially life-threatening cancers that are out there.

Health checks at male cancer centre

There are various screening procedures set up for women - breast screening, smear testing and in most medical centres these days there are also well woman clinics offering additional guidance on various women's health-related checks.

A few years back we had a Premiership football player very publicly diagnosed as having testicular cancer.

During that time, and for a few weeks after, we had some very good reporting on the subject but in the main there is nothing in the press or in local community health bulletins about this potentially life-threatening condition.

The same goes for male prostate cancer.

I heard Billy Connolly say he'd been for a prostate test once and apart from the week or two after that, these male afflictions are suddenly not fashionable or worthy of being reported on.

Early warning

For those that don't know, the football player went on to make a full recovery after treatment and still enjoys playing the game to this day.

I am not for a second suggesting that there are too many "women's issues", far from it, I'm also taking part in the Moonbeams walk for breast cancer this year.

But male issues should be brought to the fore and people should be made aware that screening and self-checking is the best way possible to get an early diagnosis and perhaps the early treatment that might just go to saving a life.

We males are being left behind

What I find astounding is that with such a male orientated parliament, both in Scotland and the UK, and also such a large male influence in the medical world, why are there not people screaming and shouting from the rafters about male check-ups?

Is it down to cost? Are there political correctness procedures in place to stop any men only issues?

We males are being left behind and far from these subjects being avoided we should be asking our MSPs and MPs to ensure there is an equal balance in targeting male age groups that might benefit from regular screening schedules.

The cost benefit to the health service would surely be great if all of the people that get diagnosed too late are found and treated earlier.

Less palliative care, less devastated families living with the spectre of these male illnesses and possibly other things picked up earlier.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and are not endorsed by the BBC.


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