Men, why fight the physical?

By: Health Local Staff May 13, 2013
  Article
male physical

Only about 40% of adult males go to the doctor for regular checkups.

From childhood to adulthood men are brought up to believe that they are tough and nothing can get them down. Going to the doctor for pain was once unheard of. 

In 2011 a survey sponsored by RBC Insurance indicated that only about 40% of adult males over the age of 18 go to the doctor for regular checkups. That is less than half of all males.

Why is this number so low? Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital suggests that men are raised with the belief that they should ignore pain. They see pain as weakness and believe that if they ignore the symptoms they will go away with time.

Other suggestions point to the opposite. Men ignore the symptoms out of fear of the unknown. If they don’t know what is causing the pain, they may be better off. This thinking is false. Doctors are strongly urging men to ‘man-up’ and get a physical routinely for preventative measures.

Why Men Need Routine Physicals

Prevention is the key. Men require physicals routinely to prevent problems from arising. Early detection can save lives.

From heart disease to prostate cancer, early detection can help eliminate severe problems due to neglect. As a man ages the need for routine physicals becomes greater. Prostate cancer screening should occur at the age of 40 and cholesterol levels monitored regularly at the age of 50 and 60.

Younger men should seek medical attention when ongoing problems, such as pain, are experienced. Even men, as young as age 20, should visit the doctor for a physical on an annual basis. Preventing problems could save your life.

What Can Be Expected at a Physical?

A traditional physical begins with a weigh-in and vital check. Blood pressure is always checked at the beginning of the exam. According to Statistics Canada nearly 20 percent of men have some level of high blood pressure and if not cared for can lead to heart disease and other problems.

A family history and personal medical history is typically gathered through question and answers. If you smoke and drink in excess your doctor will discuss lifestyle changes with you. Also, if you are overweight, your doctor will most likely discuss nutritional changes and exercise programs with you.

For men ages 20 to 30 the physical is very routine, although blood tests may be ordered to rule out high cholesterol or other issues. Unless the individual is at high risk for prostate cancer, screening usually does not occur until the age of 40.

At the age of 50 heart disease risks dramatically increase. Cholesterol levels should be monitored regularly and it is encouraged that men seek routine medical care on an annual basis.

Even if you are fit and in shape, seeing the doctor routinely for a physical can prevent problems later in life. 

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.