September 8, 2008

Get Health Tick at Men’s Clinics

There's no excuse not to get a warrant of fitness health check, writes Janine Rankin. -------------------- Men's bodies are in demand - alive, not dead.

They're the target of a series of campaigns encouraging men to get health checks before it's too late.

The Cancer Society is launching a comprehensive men's health awareness campaign around Father's Day challenging men to tick a scorecard and see a health professional.

In a separate campaign, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Radius Medical at The Palms are offering free warrant of fitness health checks this month using money raised last Movember.

The foundation has declared September blue for boys after cutting links with organisers of the November moustache-growing challenge.

Plus, the Mental Health Foundation and the Cancer Society have signed up as Movember partners for the next three years.

And the Government's in on the act, calling for applications to a $300,000 fund, part of a $3 million men's health package, for innovative projects aimed at keeping men better.

The Cancer Society explains the reasons for the fuss.

* Men die younger than women.

* Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with cancer.

* Men are more likely than women to die of cancer.

* Men are more likely to die of diabetes.

* Men are more likely to die of heart disease.

* Men are less likely than women to see a health professional.

In Palmerston North, Radius Medical at The Palms practice manager Jo Waayer has set about removing men's excuses about not being able to afford a medical check.

She put her theory about men's reluctance to spend money on their health to the foundation last year at the Manawatu Standard's suggestion.

President and chief executive Barry Young couldn't say no.

It's targeting men aged 50 to 70, or from 40 if there's a family history of prostate cancer, and acknowledges there's more to men than the prostate gland.

Heart, lung and diabetes and other risks will be assessed as well.

"It would be delinquent to get men into the surgery and only do one thing," he said.

And that "one thing" will be as non-threatening as the latest technology allows.

While spending the Movember money will have a prostate focus, the society's men's health challenge this month is broader, including awareness of cancers of the skin, lung, bowel and testicles.

As well as mental health, the Stroke Foundation, college of GPs, Age Concern and Canterbury's men's health centre are in on the campaign.

The promotion's a pilot, available to the first 100 men booked in, with a view to extending the offer in future.

Champion golfer Mark Brown's fronting the publicity and the message, "It doesn't hurt to check".

Men who fill in the scorecard and talk to a health professional, not necessarily a GP, about their score, go in a draw to win prizes.

(c) 2008 Evening Standard; Palmerston North, New Zealand. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.