Save 75% - Only $49.99 for 1 full year! digitalPLUS subscription offer ends 12/1

Men don't 'Man-Up' when it comes to Cancer Screening

Medical ResearchCancerHealthcare ProvidersBreast CancerColon Cancer

The hospital--it's where nobody wants to go--and according to a new study--especially men.

Wayne Reynolds may be the poster boy for why more men should go for cancer screenings.

He started having colonoscopies when he was 35 after being diagnosed with bleeding polyps.

Still--he admitted he slacked off a bit before going in for his regularly scheduled checkup and in August of last year he was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer.

"If I had ignored the symptoms and I am one of those that did ignore symptoms but at least I had a program in place,” Wayne recalled. “I was probably a year late getting back in for what amounted to my 5th colonoscopy.

According to a new study Wayne is a breed apart.

Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida surveyed more than 1,100 African-American, White and Puerto Rican Hispanics and found that 41% of the men had never had a cancer screening while only 5% of women had never been screened.

Wayne said he isn't surprised.

"I hear it every day in the workplace and with other friends that you know, they have no symptoms and therefore they don't consider it important," Wayne said.

Dr. Anand Shivnani is an oncologist at Baylor-Irving Cancer Center.

He said women utilize preventive healthcare not only more, but earlier--cervical cancer screenings begin in their teens and 20's with breast cancer screenings in their 40's.

He said being proactive doesn’t stop there.

"Women that come to Baylor Irving Cancer Center they are much more likely to participate in a support group, you know, make use of some of the resources that we have than men," Dr. Shivnani said.

Researchers believe the participation gap could be related to more cancer awareness programs for women--the entire month of October is dedicated to breast cancer.

Dr. Shivnani said men can and should be more proactive.

"Certainly men in general need to be better at giving a detailed family history to their physicians they can be appropriately counseled for when they need to start these screenings.”

Wayne's son will have to begin colonoscopies at 35.

As for Wayne--after radiation, chemotherapy and surgery--he's doing great.

After all a cancer screening saved his life.

"It's just something that you have to decide to do,” Wayne said. “I think you have to recognize it's really not that difficult."


Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Medical ResearchCancerHealthcare ProvidersBreast CancerColon Cancer