As part of the build-up to this year’s Men’s Health Week, long-time Men’s Health Week ambassador Greg Murphy is urging New Zealand men to take care of their health and “find the time” to obtain regular medical check-ups. The Kiwi motorsport great is also in the news this week after announcing his retirement from the Bathurst 1000 this year.
He said there needs to be a change in the culture of how men look at their health, including making the time for regular medical check-ups.
Men are often bad patients, Murphy said.
“Women do a much better job of looking after themselves.
“We’ve got this thing about we’re too staunch to see a doctor or it’s not what we do, it’s not tough enough or whatever.”
Every year 365 New Zealanders die of melanoma, and 60 percent of them are men.
“There are so many scenarios or cases where death is preventable, because of the types of melanomas, and the prostate side of things as well.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in New Zealand, with more than 650 deaths each year as of 2018 statistics, according to the Ministry of Health.
“A lot of these things can be diagnosed and we can do so many things these days to prevent some of this loss which is just unnecessary,” Murphy said.
“Men should be getting a relationship formed with their doctor and going and getting these checks done.”
Too often men wait years between regular doctors’ visits, and the Men’s Health Week website gives tips for getting on a regular schedule.
During his motorsports career, Murphy said he’s been required to get annual medical exams, which helped establish the importance of a health routine.
“We’ve got to get into that routine and find the time to make sure we’re doing really simple things, and just getting over some of this way we think, this culture which is potentially killing us.
“Every year you put in your calendar and you just go and do it regardless of what you feel, because there’s a lot of hidden killers there that are festering away and you might feel fine, but by the time it actually shows up, it’s too late.
“Men are 20 percent more likely than women to die prematurely from heart disease or diabetes,” Murphy said. “We’ve got to take that on board and see what we’re doing wrong.
“If it can be prevented, why wouldn’t you?”
Murphy compared regular health check-ups with maintaining your car’s Warrant of Fitness.
“We’re quite happy to go and get our cars serviced or checked and pay for that and do the right thing, but when it comes to going and seeing your doctor, what’s the stigma behind that that’s stopping us?”
Murphy also recommended the What’s Your Score health survey tool on the Health Week website as a good way for men to check where they’re at.
“The reason why I wanted to be an ambassador for men’s health is to push that and make sure that we all are changing our attitudes, because really, some of the reasons are a bit pathetic these days.”