Boomer Blokes – A Threatened Species

If you are a bloke of a certain age, say 60-something or older, you could well be a walking time-bomb with disease (breeding for years) about to present itself.

To reflect my point, right now I have three men-friends fighting serious life-threatening disease including stomach cancer, melanoma and prostate problems.

And in the last two weeks, two other menfolk in our broader circle of friends have died of cancers.

The trouble with blokes is they don’t visit doctors for regular annual health checks either in their adult working lives or as they age until disease kicks in, a fact brought to light by the Adelaide Northern Division of General Practice (ANDGP) during Men’s Health Week.

Yet if ever the adage “A stitch in time saves nine’’ it is with nipping disease in the bud.

To illustrate the point the AGPN rounded up all the coaches of all 16 AFL clubs for regular health checks to highlight Men’s Health Week.

“Us guys often overlook the important things like a simple check up that could save us from serious health issues in the future,’’ says Danny

Frawley, CEO of the AFL Coaches Association. “Our coaches want to lead by example and help get the message out.’’

The most effective thing any male can do is to be proactive – simply get to know a GP and have a checkup once a year, adds ANDGP CEO Barbara Magin.

“Men are less likely to visit the doctor, they don’t come in incidentally with the kids in the same way women do, but a good relationship with a GP can be a lifesaver, literally,’’ she says.

The message is timely because prostate cancer is now the most  diagnosed cancer in Australia each year.

Other insidious diseases which impact on men’s health include depression, type 2 diabetes and lung and bowel cancers.

Heart disease is another major killer of men – and death is preventable if men have their cardiovascular health risks tested annually.

A GP will be able to check for all age appropriate health risks, enquire about family history (genetic timebombs) answer any questions about health and outline what steps to  take to stay healthy for the future.

An annual checkup is the first step for men to protect themselves from disease and death. Others include:

Stop smoking – it’s the only health option – smoking causes 40 per cent of deaths in men who are aged under 65. See GP then call Quitline on 131 848.

Adopt 30 minutes of physical exercise daily.

Research shows that regular physical activity can reduce cardiovascular disease, helps fight depression, can help prevent Type 2 diabetes and improves sexual function.

Eat health foods and maintain balanced diet. See a dietitician if overweight. Eat plenty of vegies, fruit and cereals) and avoid fatty and sugary foods.

Maintain a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Take on board that excessive alcohol consumption and drug use impairs your brain function. Two alcoholic drinks a day is safe.  Recognise depression if you feel overwhelmed and persistently sad. It affects one in six people at any one time. Medication helps. Join Men’s Shed for male bonding. See

More men’s health info on


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2 Comments to “Boomer Blokes – A Threatened Species”

  1. By Jim Binder, 26/06/2010 @ 2:27 pm

    Cmon guys – be proactive !

    Go and see your GP for a check-up.

    There are lots of opportunities out there to get active – be healthy.
    Perhaps start by getting a copy of your local council directory of local services, clubs & groups. Visit your local Positive Ageing Services centre.

    Perhaps contact your local community health service to see what programs they have.
    Get walking – for a healthy activity and socialising join a local Heart Foundation walking group – see

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