On The Last Stand Podcast, Brian Custer talks men’s health with Dr. Mwata Dyson of Digital Health Cast.
Below is the transcription of the interview:
Brian: Time now for a segment, we like to call Take A Stand on Your Health, it’s brought to you by Man Cave Health. And for some of you who know, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago and the only reason why I am here alive and talking to you now is because I got an annual check and I caught it early. And prostate cancer is a treatable cancer if you catch it early, but you’ve got to get an annual physical, you’ve got to know your number and that’s what Man Cave Health is all about. It is a foundation that is urging men to just take one hour out of this year to go get either an annual physical or a PSA test to know your number. And joining me now to talk about this is a world-renowned doctor, in fact, you can even hear him on his own podcast, The Digital Health Cast, he is Dr. Mwata Dyson. Dr. Dyson, welcome.
Dr Dyson: Brian, thank you for having me on the show today. It’s a pleasure to be here with you.
Brian: It’s great to have you on. We want to talk about health here in this segment. Why do you think most men are so neglectful when it comes to either getting an annual physical or even getting a PSA test?
Dr. Dyson: Brian, I think that’s a great question. Why don’t most men go see the doctor? It’s a topic that’s widely discussed and I can tell you there’s multiple reasons why. If I could simplify it for you and your guests, I would really put it into two categories. I would say it’s because of psychology and because of science. It’s the psychology and the behavior that has men hesitant to go, which has heavily influenced by time, fear and comfort. If we look at the number one reason why men don’t go to the doctor, they’ll say, but just don’t have enough time. They’ll say they’re too busy and they can’t fit it into the schedule. The number two reason is they are afraid of the results. They’re scared that they may find something really serious and they don’t want to deal with the underlining ramifications of those results.
And then the third reason being, they just don’t like the overall experience. As you know, men in general, we’re pretty easy going and pretty simplistic, we don’t like being poked and prodded. Now I’m sympathetic to everything I’ve heard patients say before. I don’t want to dismiss it, but these are reasonable issues, they’re just not rational issues. That’s the psychology. Then we look at the science and I’m referring to science, I’m talking about the healthcare system itself. The healthcare system just hasn’t done a really good job of helping people to meet those challenges.
Brian: The great thing too about Man Cave health is that they like to build a waiting room that men will enjoy being in if they’re going to a doctor, there’s going to be memorabilia there, there’s going to be different things there, there’s going to be TVs with sports and all that kind of stuff that make you feel comfortable to kind of address what you tried to say there about being uncomfortable in a waiting room, Man Cave Health does that as well as give you information about obviously health and keeping yourself healthy. Along those lines, when it comes to prostate cancer, it is the leading cause of cancer death among American men and men of color black men are twice as likely to get prostate cancer than white men. Why is that?
Dr. Dyson: It’s kind of like we were talking about earlier, men have not going to the doctor and because of that, they’re not getting the appropriate screening at the appropriate time so many of these diseases are being picked up very late. If they were picked up early, we probably could institute some treatments, which will most likely be curative. As you mentioned, as you started to show off, a lot of this can be prevented if we could get people to get out to the doctor and get the appropriate screening, but because we’re picking it up so late, we have very few tools left in the toolbox in order to be effective. When we look at the African American community in particular, it becomes really complicated because in the black communities, there’s a limited access to resources. There’s a limited access to healthy foods, particularly in these urban areas that are predominated by these food deserts. There’s limited access to providers, at least those who are culturally competent and that matters, especially if trust is an issue. And then there’s a limited access to income. So many men working in predominantly African-American communities are working hourly jobs. They can’t afford to take time off to go to the doctor and they’re afraid of what that cost might be if they do.
Brian: Great response there. Then it leads me to this. What do you think is the most important thing that we can all do to drastically cut down those numbers?
Dr. Dyson: Earlier I alluded to there’s two main challenges, it’s the psychology and the science. The science is doing some things right now, at least in terms of the challenge to meeting, to access. So, using like our mobile phones for telehealth visits so we can get access. That’s helpful and that’s moving in the correct direction. However, I think what your audience and athletes need to know is that we have to use better communication tools and empathy. I’ll go to the communication first. This is why I appreciate being on your show, I love what you’re doing. Using platforms like yours, where we can have these open discussions where man feel free talking about these types of issues is highly important. I can’t put enough emphasis that. In terms of the empathy, it has to be okay for me to feel that we can embrace each other and to be supportive. If there is a man in someone’s life, who’s watching your show right now that they feel comfortable with wishing them happy birthday, which is a nice idea, however, that could be that signal to them to do something a little bit more valuable, like making sure they go to see their doctor, making sure they’re getting screening tests following up on the results and just having these types of open dialogue.
Brian: Absolutely, right. It’s one of the things I think we as men, we don’t have open dialogue when it comes to our health. Some guys are ashamed of it and it’s something that we need to be more open as you talked about having empathy with one another and really that’s what Man Cave Health is really all about. In fact, you can go to their website at mancavehealth.org, please sign up for their newsletter and if you like make a donation and you can do it by texting thelaststand to 44321, that money is used to help people who don’t have the means to get a physical, to get a PSA test, they try to help them provide for that. And they also do all kinds of things, providing information, virtual meetings and making sure that everyone takes care of their men. Doc, where can they see and hear the podcast?
Dr. Dyson: We’re Digital HealthCast. You can check us out on any podcast player, Digital HealthCast, and we’re going to be on YouTube pretty soon. In the next few weeks, you can also see us there.
Brian: Dr. Mwata Dyson, appreciate it.
Dr. Dyson: It was my pleasure.
Visit this link for the video of this interview: https://youtu.be/sKnsctaw1GE
The Last Stand Podcast is available on All podcast platforms.
Be sure to visit them on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LastStandPodcastwithBrianCuster
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Brian Custer: https://twitter.com/BCusterTV
Dr. Mwata Dyson: https://twitter.com/digithealthcast
Man Cave Health : https://twitter.com/mancave_health