Eight in 10 men say it is “the norm” for them to endure an illness or an ailment rather than seek help from a health professional.
This is according to a survey of 2,000 men commissioned by Bupa Health Clinics, which indicated that potentially millions of men would only see their GP if their condition became critical.
Worryingly, four in 10 males could not identify the symptoms of prostate cancer and 40% admitted they never had a general check-up.
Forty-six per cent said they have kept conditions to themselves, while 45% hoped a problem would simply go away by itself.
More than a third admitted they would endure their symptoms for as long as three weeks before seeking treatment, and 27% would wait even longer than this.
Dr Naveen Puri, a lead physician at Bupa Health Clinics, said it was important that conversations about health were normalised so that men, and women, felt confident enough to seek medical attention when needed.
Dr Puri said: “We know that some people get nervous or feel uncomfortable about seeing a doctor, but they needn’t be.
“The vast majority of concerns can be treated easily so there’s no need to suffer in silence and endure days or weeks of discomfort.
“I see many male patients each week, and people regularly tell me that they wished they’d taken control of their health sooner.
“We know that men can struggle to open up about their health, which is part of the reason we introduced focused male health checks, giving guys more time to talk once they’ve overcome the initial barriers.”