In contrast, I have noticed that while one in eight men is likely to develop prostate cancer, far fewer who can be cured or have a chance of living a long life with the disease seek any tests at all. The same can be said about the cervical smear. It may well be that we will see a time when women only need one test in their lives, but for now, embarrassment is holding many women back. Whatever the cause, it is undoubtedly true that any treatment will be more invasive than early screening. And too many just leave it too late.
It’s always easier to talk about accidents. Accidents are interesting. Accidents make – unfortunately – an excellent copy. Crashes are – shamefully – far more masculine. Even so, anything that goes wrong is most likely our own fault.
Accidents were often preventable. I should know – I work for the Project Safety Association (APS), which was formed to try and reduce the number of accidents and injuries in the construction sector. Circumstances are much more under our control, and failures are the result of—most often we would like to admit—failures in planning and care. They are not limited to the fleeting slips to which we are all prone and which, though tragic, are much more understandable.
But health? You might think that people got sick on purpose. Once you get over the pandemic that has dominated for so long, we seem to have nothing to say. I remember chatting with Kate Walker of the Diabetes Safety Organization and she made me laugh. She makes her rounds trying to raise awareness of the disease and finds people – mostly men, I must say – approaching her booth at conferences and trade shows. They often resented her mentioning impotence as a side effect and seemed to want to plug their ears with cotton to keep the truth from seeping in. just picked up one, “for a friend.”
I dare say? We could grow some balls. We are not children and this is real life. And it’s time for us to stop giggling in the playground to hide our modesty.
No one likes being pushed by the medical profession. When I had my last mammogram, I made a fool of myself because I couldn’t figure out what I should do with my boobs or where they should go – it’s always been that way! But I was glad I went for the test. And even happier everything was fine.
None of us are immune to the pain and pain associated with gaining some weight. And as our society ages, we are likely to face increasing challenges due to poor health. This needs to be managed so that everyone can move on and enjoy a long life. We need to step up and take advantage of the proposed checks and tests. Especially right now we don’t have Covid to use as an excuse to ignore blue envelopes from the NHS.
Leslie McLeod, Executive Director of the Project Security Association