UK Men could be Dying from Embarrassment!

Even in today’s world where men are more open and honest about what’s going on in their lives, there still seems to be a stubborn hesitancy in the British male to go to the doctors whenever there are possible health concerns.

WHY DO MEN RESIST THE DOCTOR?This Foot-dragging starts in Young Men

This unwillingness to get checked-over starts from a young age. Time and time again we see young British men dying from things like testicular cancer just because they failed to visit their doctor in time for an early diagnosis and probable cure.

A NHS survey showed that only 69% of men aged 18-24 had visited a doctor’s surgery in the preceding twelve months compared to 90% of women within the same age group.

Where does this Reluctance Stem from?

There are a number of issues contingent with the male British mindset that may be keeping the UK’s men from visiting their GPs. They may include unjustified:

  • Embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Shyness
  • Fear of what might be
  • Too polite (thinking they could be wasting the doctors time)

Is the British Stiff Upper Lip to Blame?

One British characteristic is to dismiss potential health issues as trivial and to keep a stiff upper lip (an unemotional trait), but this peculiarity could be costing lives is some cases.

A survey conducted by Cancer Research UK back in 2009 (known as the Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM)), conducted research on this very topic. The study randomly selected 3,600 men and women from across the kingdom.

It revealed that this foot-dragging hesitancy to visit a medic is not only a problem with British men but women too. These figures will fluctuate with age, but currently it’s the youth – in both genders – that are proving to be the most reluctant group to seek medical help and advice.

You can read more about the CAM Study here

At the time of writing it is not known whether or not any positive changes have come about as a result of this study, but Cancer Research UK says it’s working closely with the Department of Health and the NHS (National Health Service), in an attempt to improve cancer survival through earlier diagnosis.

This major national initiative is called the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative, and we wish them well in their endeavour.

And Finally

If you are someone who is more likely to dodge the doctor rather than face him, then you might want to read this excellent article published by the BBC entitled: Male embarrassment at the GPs. It’s a very useful guide irrespective of your nationality.

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

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