This post was originally published on St. Louis American

By Derrick M. Lane

It’s hard enough to get a man to roll over on his side when he’s sleeping to stop his snoring. Now you’re asking a fully woke Black man to lie on his side while he’s conscious and allow somebody he doesn’t know to stick a finger up his butt for a prostate exam? Good luck with that one.

We’re kings of the phrase “I’m aight” while the women in our lives are screaming, “Babe, why don’t you go get that checked out? It’s been three months now.” Men don’t like going to the doctor unless they absolutely have to. That dissonance gets especially greater when there are major checkups on the horizon such as prostate and colon cancer screenings.

A new national survey commissioned by Orlando Health found that nearly half (48%) of men made an excuse for NOT making their yearly doctor’s visits, with the top excuses being:

I’m too busy to go

I’m afraid to find out what might be wrong

I don’t want to get uncomfortable body exams

With the life expectancy of men being five years shorter than women, doctors are urging men to stop making excuses. The deaths of Phife DawgPM Dawn’s Prince BeDoug Banks and countless other Black men have led many to start rethinking their beliefs about going to the doctor.

Dr. Michele Reed is a board-certified family medicine physician who has done tremendous work surrounding the prevention of chronic diseases in the Black community. She provides insight into the top reasons why Black men don’t go to the doctor for major health screenings.

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