IF you have ever been around a male of the human species with the notorious ‘man flu’ (which is apparently much worse than the regular flu) you will know men can, and do, get sick.
However unfortunately it is often only when men are past the point of treatment that they will actually go to the doctor to seek help.
Men’s Health Week aims to tackle this problem with the old adage, prevention is better than cure. Men’s Health Week runs from June 11 to 17 and Hunter New England Health is encouraging men in the area to drop the “she’ll be right” attitude and see their local GP for a health check-up.
Hunter New England Health men’s health coordinator, Ken McKenzie, said unfortunately every hour more than five men died prematurely in Australia from potentially preventable illnesses.
One third of men have not seen a doctor in the past year and 10 per cent have not seen one for five years.
“The sad fact is that if men don’t watch how they live their lives and accept medical checks as a normal part of their routine, things won’t necessarily be alright,” Mr McKenzie said.
Leigh Maughan, one of the founding fathers of the Newcastle Knights and a member of the Hunter Prostate Cancer Alliance has joined this year’s HNEH campaign.
He is worried by ‘she’ll be right man’ but he’s more concerned about ‘stubborn man’.
“It’s not uncommon to talk to blokes who say: ‘I don’t want to know. I’m not getting tested for anything’,” Mr Maughan said.
“I find that super strange, I’ve got to say.”
Mr Maughan has a close-up view on the world of men, through his connection to rugby league, but even for the toughest men, there is danger.
“All of us have to take responsibility for our health. Fitness might not be the issue for these league blokes, but for everyone, I have the same message: Get with it. Get tested,” Mr Maughan said.
Moree Men’s Shed president Raymond Dennison said the men’s shed had also been encouraging older men to get active as part of Men’s Health Week.
They are also promoting health checks for men through the Pius X clinic for the early detection of illnesses.
“You have to look for the signs and symptoms. They mean that something is going wrong with your body. Some symptoms are only small and some people think they are just part of getting older but there are things which can be treated and managed,” Mr Dennison said.
So for all the sons, husbands, boyfriends and fathers out there - do yourself and your family a favour and have a check-up.