Men not wearing out a path to the doctor's office

It seems the stereotype is true: Men just don’t go to the doctor unless it is absolutely necessary.

In a recent survey commissioned by and reported in Esquire magazine, nearly half of men ages 18 to 50 said they don’t have a primary-care physician, and one-third admitted they haven’t had a checkup in more than a year.

That includes prostate exams. Surprisingly, though these exams help detect prostate cancer in its early stages, about 70 percent of men have never had one. Single men were even less motivated than married men to schedule a prostate exam.

Why the hesitation?

“Men just don’t like the idea of a digital rectal exam,” says Dr. Yair Lotan, a urologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He added, however, that such exams should be part of annual physicals. “About 20 percent to 30 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed based on the fact that the physician felt a nodule.”

About one out of every six males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death for men in the U.S., behind only lung cancer. Experts say early detection is the key.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/urology to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for urology.

Media Contact: Robin Russell

Return to July 2011 News Tips

Share: