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Get dad a doc's advice this Father's Day

Egypt: Where magical mytery abounds

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 21:42 IST

Skip the shirt and tie this Father's Day -- show Dad you really care by urging him to talk to his doctor about prostate cancer. Most men will listen, hints a survey released today.

"Women don't realise how much influence they have with their husbands on matters of health," said Leslie D. Michelson, head of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "Daughters, wives and partners may be our secret weapons to get men to talk with their doctors about prostate cancer."

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the US, striking one in six American men. This year alone, an estimated 234,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease and 27,000 will die from it.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation/Gillette Men's Health Survey, which involved 1,572 healthy men and women ages 25 to 62 years, shows, not surprisingly, that men are reluctant to talk with their doctors about prostate cancer.

Among men with a family history of the disease, about one in four has never discussed his family history or his personal risk with a doctor.

Of men older than 50 - the age of highest risk nearly one in five has never discussed his family history or personal risk for prostate cancer with a doctor.

While 73 per cent of men surveyed said they are concerned about prostate cancer, many are misinformed about the disease even those at increased risk for developing prostate cancer.

Most notably, 30 per cent of men over age 50 said they would wait for symptoms to develop before seeing a doctor, when, in fact, most men who develop prostate cancer never experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease, when more treatment options are available.

Nearly three quarters of the men and women surveyed mistakenly believed that prostate cancer is less common among men than breast cancer is among women.

In reality, men are 33 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer than women are to develop breast cancer.

But perhaps the most important "take home" message of the survey, the authors say, is the important role that wives and daughters can play in raising men's awareness of prostate cancer, and other major threats to their health, and getting them to talk to their doctor.

Almost three quarters of men surveyed said they would be very likely to talk to their doctor about prostate cancer if urged do to so by the women in their lives.

Yet, only half of the women, according to the survey, believe they have this kind of influence over their man.

First Published: Jun 17, 2006 09:00 IST