If the stereotypes are true then I’m a typical bloke – putting off doctors appointments due to embarrassment or unusual symptoms, thinking it’ll get better in time.

This happened to me last year, as I put off an appointment due to an unusual rash on my torso. I finally had to bite the bullet and went and after a few weeks treatment I was clear and have been since.

This habit needs to be broken and the stereotype quashed; as NetDoctor says, prevention is always better than cure and catching illness early for easier treatment.

Below I’ve put four steps for guys to take better care of themselves:

Testicular cancer

To check, simply roll each testicle in your hand on a weekly basis, after a hot shower. Go to the doctor if you find any unusual lumps or swelling in one part of the testicle. There might be a sharp pain or heavy scrotum.

I had a scare a few years ago which, thankfully, I was found to be all clear with nothing to worry about — but many aren’t so lucky.

You can find more information on Cancer Research UK.

Smoking

As a former smoker, I know the affect it can have on the body. It’s a disgusting habit, but whilst addicted it’s damn satisfying.

It’s been around 18 months since I gave up and I feel so much better for it. If I ever have a stray cigarette now I feel terrible after.

I actually didn’t need anything to stop, but others aren’t able to do so for whatever reason. Of course, there are many routes to quitting, but one of the more painless ways is vaping. By doing this you can ease yourself off by consciously reducing the nicotine in an e-cigarette.

That being said, you could also give patches or gum a try, you just need to have the willpower.

Heart Disease

A subject close to my heart (pardon the pun), heart disease is more prevalent in men than women mainly because men are more likely to be overweight and they tend to eat more processed meat.

There are some simple things you can do to change your eating habits, such as:

  • Eat slower
  • Learn more about what’s inside your food
  • Choose healthier snacks and meals
  • Keep to a portion side
  • Drink more water and less sugary drinks
  • Keep active
  • Watch out on your booze intake

These are simple and not very detailed but they will help you to live healthier and prevent heart disease.

Skin Cancer

One of the most preventable types of cancer when treated early enough, with 9 in 10 people diagnosed with skin cancer surviving for ten years or more.

The cause in most cases is from the UV rays of the run, meaning the importance of sun protection whenever in direct contact with the sun. I’ve also been keen for a sunbed in my time, which can also increase risk.

Spotting the symptoms is as easy as keeping an eye on your skin. Check for any changes to moles over a two week period, if you’re still worried then get booked into your doctors. More information on what to look out for can be found on the Cancer Research UK website.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t take much to look after yourself, it’s just a way of life. The few tips above are just the start — all I can say is that everyone needs to swallow their pride and get to the doctors if you find anything abnormal.

I have twice and thankfully, I was OK. I implore you to follow my lead and not wish symptoms away.