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Book review: “A Guide to Men’s Health: Answers to Questions All Men Should Ask Their Doctor”

Posted Aug 14 2010 11:58pm

By Robert Corish, MD

Review by Scott Keith

Perhaps the day will arrive when men will become as “thorough” as women when it comes to seeing the family doctor. It seems women have a better grasp of the importance of getting screened for potentially life-threatening illnesses, such as breast and cervical cancer. Guys? It’s a different story.

A doctor, who lectures on preventive medicine and natural health and toxicology, has written a book aimed specifically at the stubborn guy – the man who would just as soon eat a sour lemon than schedule a visit with the MD. “A Guide to Men’s Health,” by Dr. Robert Corish, is a splendid fact-filled guide designed to help men see the importance of preventive health care.

Corish is blunt and straightforward in his presentation, yet sprinkles in just enough humor to loosen guys up, so they can learn how to pay better attention to their aches, pains and symptoms.

Corish took a somewhat wild career path. He made the transition from an environment of corner kicks, yellow cards and goal posts to the world of medicine, earning a medical doctorate at the University of Miami in Florida. In an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, Corish says he was a professional soccer player (Derby County) in England. He traveled to the United States to play for the North American Soccer League’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers. A career-ending injury changed everything. “I decided to go to school…I did my internship in internal medicine. I ended up in Chicago, where I did my residency in anesthesiology,” says Corish. Events propelled Corish to get board certified in toxicology, and he learned integrative, or functional medicine.

In writing the book, Corish takes note of the difference between men and women. He says men are fighters and breadwinners. “We don’t deal well with injuries…men tend to ignore things and hope things will just go away.” The problem is, adds Corish, as men get older, health problems accumulate. So Corish decided to take a few years off and write a book to address the stubborn male of our species.

Corish begins his book with the subject of aging. He writes, It’s important to understand that the aging process begins at the cellular level. He writes about foods that can help slow the aging process and points out that men demonstrate the least amount of knowledge about skin cancer and sun damage. Other topics touch on memory, mental sharpness, male menopause (yes, there is such a thing), heart health and sleep hygiene.

Men who avoid medical tests will get a crash course on preventive care after reading this book. Corish says, “Guys don’t like fingers put where they shouldn’t be…so they’re always fearful of the test…guys have a fear of bad news. They will avoid bad news. They don’t want to be told they have cancer or Alzheimer’s disease…denial is issue number one.” In particular, men get super squeamish over prostate exams. Chapter 5 makes prostate cancer much easier to understand. Explaining the much-feared digital rectal exam, Corish writes, Remember the finger wave never killed anybody, but cancer sure can. Compare this to what women have to go through…the discomfort of a pelvic and a rectal exam plus a pap smear scraping on a yearly basis starting at an early age. We have it much easier!

“A Guide to Men’s Health” tackles “touchier” subjects, such as hemorrhoids, hernias and erectile dysfunction. Corish writes, Viagra is a revolutionary drug that has unexpectedly changed the whole landscape of men’s health. Viagra, according to Corish, was originally a blood pressure medication. With Viagra, “men’s esteem (especially baby boomers) came back…they had a zest for life…they wanted to look better.” The “Viagra Phenomena,” as Corish calls it, played a huge role in getting men to want to take better care of themselves.

Added features in the book include a list of medical tests that men need to discuss with their primary care physicians. Corish stresses the importance of colorectal, prostate, blood pressure, skin, dental and eye examinations. At the end of the book, scan the entertaining Male Factoids. Among them: The average human dream lasts only 2 to 3 seconds . Laugh over Medical record blunders from doctor’s dictations and learn about Foods ranked most alkaline to most acidic.

Corish is optimistic about the future of men’s health. He says the tide is changing and men’s “health IQ’s” are improving. “The message is getting out there.”

Softcover, 196 pages, $16.99, Agape Publishing. The book is available at www. robertcorishmd.com.

Visit Dr. Corish at www.robertcorishmd.com


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