Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on May 03, 2012


Sheldon Marks, MD. Urologist; Male Infertility Specialist, Prostate Cancer Specialist, Microsurgical Vasectomy Reversal Specialist, Tucson, Ariz.

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Video Transcript

Narrator: Why don't men take better care of themselves?

Sheldon Marks, MD: The problem is when men are young, they're going to live forever, nothing's going to get in their way. That's why young guys do stupid things. Because it's not going to hurt them. Why are teenagers promiscuous in the face of HIV, hepatitis C and all those other things? Because it will happen to somebody else but it won't happen to them. And then as men get older they get into this pattern of reactive care. They don't understand about proactive health care. They don't understand that that's their body for life. That they have to be in tune with their body and take care of it, and if they do, the quality of their life experience will be dramatically improved. But when they do these abusive things, when they drink too much, drugs, overweight, then that impacts on them. They don't realize that that never happening to me, it will happen, and then it's just around the corner. And then when it happens, it's often too late.

Narrator: Why is it too late?

Sheldon Marks, MD: Because they've had years of abusive behaviors. They've eaten the wrong foods. They've had too much to drink, they smoke, hypertension, diabetes, liver disorders, cholesterol problems. And those are the guys, you know you read about people in their 40s and 50s who suddenly get a heart attack and die or have a massive stroke. It doesn't make sense. Sometimes it's random bad luck, but sometimes it's things they've been doing all these years. Unlike women, who are mentally, society programs them to be into preventative health. They start going to the ob-gyn young in life. They go to the doctor for checkups. Women are the leaders in health care in this country. Almost all of the health care decisions are driven by women. I'm sure on WebMD, a lot of the women in fact on the men's health message board, a lot of times it's women asking the questions. You want to wonder, if it's about blood in the semen, or erection disorders, or pain or lumps or bumps how come the guy isn't there asking the question himself? And it's because that's not what guys do. Guys will comment on it, but I don't know whether it's fear or if it's the denial, or maybe they don't value themselves enough, but the wives are the ones that go online and ask the questions.