Post-Coronavirus era, a new normal is being talked about! We all realize that life will never be the same. But what exactly will be the scenario in the recent future?
I remember, long back I read a story about a family that returned from Iraq in the 80s during the Iran-Iraq conflict, as the family found it impossible to live there.
Near their house, there was a factory that used to blow sirens at regular intervals when the shift would change. Every time the sirens blew, the child in the family used to hide under a table in fear. When the parents were asked the reason, they jokingly told that during wartime, when both Iran and Iraq were bombing each other, loud sirens were blown alerting people to hide themselves under some furniture, which the kid did has been in usual practice over many years!
Something similar, many of our reactions henceforth will change impulsively without our knowledge. Don't get surprised if social gatherings, invitations, or visits start appearing as sirens.
With every such disease in the past, be it Plague, Measles, Influenza, Diphtheria, Swine Flu, etc., society did go through periods of heightened anxiety for a long time, before accepting the disease as being normal.
But, is just surviving the current pandemic enough for men’s health in a long way? What about other ailments that threaten men's health?
We have survived epidemics before and we will survive again for sure. But what's most pertinent at this juncture is that since the Coronavirus is killing more men than women, what's stopping us from taking Coronavirus as a wake-up call regarding men's health, given that men are the weaker sex when it comes to survival, and several diseases are more commonly seen in men than in women.
When we talk of men’s rights in terms of health or medical aid, often we restrict ourselves to Prostate Cancer, overlooking the fact that Parkinson's Disease, ALS, and almost every type of cancer are seen more often in men than in women. Listed below are few such diseases.
Many argue that since only men possess the prostate, women cannot have any related problem. Whereas, women do possess a prostate, referred to in female anatomy as the Skene's glands. However, it is extremely rare for women to develop cancer there.
Cirrhosis is a disease that occurs when the liver is exposed to heavy amounts of toxins and as per a study, this disease is more frequent in men.
In patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, the brain becomes progressively more damaged over the years, causing the body to shake uncontrollably and leaving the muscles slow and stiff. And men are especially susceptible, researchers have found that men are 1.5 times more likely than women to develop Parkinson's disease.
Men are much more likely to be diagnosed with autism in their lifetime. According to a report, men have a 1-in-54 chance of developing autism spectrum disorders, while women have a 1-in-252 chance.
Though women are more likely to develop melanoma before the age of 50, things begin to shift in those later years. In fact, they shift so much that, by the age of 65, men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with melanoma.
Men are much more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer. Aside from the gender difference, patients are at a higher risk of getting colon cancer if someone in their family was afflicted by it if they smoke, if they have a poor diet, or if they generally engage in a series of unhealthy habits.
Similar to colon cancer, men are far more likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Smoking is a leading cause of pancreatic cancer, with an estimated one in four cases directly caused by the habit. Since men are more likely to smoke cigarettes, it makes sense that they would be at a greater risk of developing cancer.
Due to possible exposure to harmful chemicals in the workplace and an increased likelihood of smoking cigarettes, men are twice as likely to receive a kidney cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
Oral Cavity Cancer
Men are more than twice as likely to develop oral cavity cancer. This is mostly since men are also more prone to drinking and smoking, both of which are leading causes of the disease.
You're at a greater risk of getting athlete's foot if you're male. And while the spread of bacteria that causes fungus on your feet is generally harmless, it can pose a greater risk if and when it makes it to your hands, nails, or groin area, as these areas are more resistant to treatment.
This kind of hernia occurs when tissue pushes through a weak spot in your abdominal wall, causing a very painful bulge near your groin. And men are eight to ten times more likely to develop inguinal hernias than women.
Gout, a type of arthritis caused by an overabundance of uric acid in the body, can cause sufferers to feel sharp, needle-like pain in their joints. And, since women's bodies contain less uric acid, they are less likely to be plagued with the disease.
When a bulge occurs in your aorta (the main artery supplying blood from the heart to the rest of the body) it results in an aneurysm. This bulge can prove to be fatal when it breaks or ruptures, as it causes a bleed inside of your body.
ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, occurs when the nerves in the brain and spinal cord slowly deteriorate, causing sufferers to lose control over their muscles. According to a report, ALS is 20 % more common in men (like physicist Stephen Hawking) than in women.
Bladder stones develop when the minerals in the urine crystallize and turn into hard masses that are painful to pass. And unfortunately, especially those 50 and older are more likely to have bladder stones, seeing as they're commonly caused by an enlarged prostate.
Where do we stand?
To take care of women, there exists a dedicated ministry and a commission, and this is the reason why with #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao government is concerned only about women and their wellbeing. It has enormous funds and awareness programs for breast cancer entirely ignoring the fact that Prostate has overtaken Breast as 'most common cancer'.
Government has it’s own priorities and lack of any formal platform to put up our issues should not stop us from raising awareness regarding this issue of men's health. For now, any of the government's activities or policies does not inspire any confidence that we will be heard anytime soon. Till the time government wakes up, let us try to spread awareness for men’s health, and well being.