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Kiwi men urged not to ignore health problems

Kiwi men urged not to ignore health problems

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Photo caption: waiting to see the GP

Seated left to right

Viv Rickard (NZ Police assistant commissioner), Andy Leslie (NZRU president), Dalton Kelly (Cancer Society chief executive), Phil Shannon (Simpson Grierson senior associate), Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae (Defence Force chief), Dr Stewart Reid (GP), Phil O’Reilly (Business NZ chief executive), Julian Hughes (NZ Fire Service national manager, safety and wellbeing), David Broome (Simpson Grierson senior associate), Geoff Thorne (head of Parliamentary Services).

Standing left to right

Dean Schmidt (Telecom head of government and community relations), Jean-Pierre de Raad (NZIER in-coming chief executive), Adam Jackson (Simpson Grierson senior associate),

8 September 2008

Kiwi men urged not to ignore health problems

The Cancer Society is challenging men to up their game by getting regular health checks.

The Men’s Health Challenge was launched yesterday, Father’s Day, to remind men of the importance of seeing a health professional more often.

“Men are more likely to die younger than women, be diagnosed with and die of cancer, and die early of a range of other preventable diseases,” said Cancer Society Chief Executive Dalton Kelly.

Today the Cancer Society offered free health checks to a number of high-profile Wellington men, including New Zealand Police Assistant Commissioner Viv Rickard, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, NZRU President Andy Leslie and NZIER in-coming Chief Executive Jean-Pierre de Raad.

“We’re delighted to have their support to help remind men - who are not traditionally proactive when it comes to looking after their health - that it pays to get checked.”

A recent survey by the Cancer Society showed one in three men over 50 never discuss cancer risks with their family doctor.

“This highlights the urgent need to change men’s attitudes towards their own health, and their risk of getting cancer, in particular.”

Mr Kelly said men tended to bury their heads in the sand if they notice something not quite right about themselves.

“They don’t want to know so they ignore it in the hope that ‘she’ll be right’ and whatever it is will go away.

“It’s hugely ironic, and very unfortunate, that it’s the initial head-in-the-sand period when the real damage is done.”

He said the Cancer Society would like men – particularly those over 50 or with a history of cancer or any general health risks – to have an annual check.

“Most men take their car in for an annual service, but they don’t extend that commonsense to their own bodies. It’s a very small investment to make in their health and it could save their lives.”

As part of the Men’s Health Challenge, the Cancer Society has produced a scorecard so men can check their own risks and follow up on any areas of concern with their health professional.

Scorecards are available at all branches of the National Bank, Telecom Orb stores and online at


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