Men care about women. Women care about men.
I know this statement sounds simple. But honestly, when it comes to “gender” medicine, believe me, there have been arguments about this over the years.
One common thought not too long ago: men don’t care about women’s health.
Believe it or not, in the 1980’s there was a huge discussion about this. It was discovered that a number of cancer research studies did not include women and certainly did not consider the differences between men and women’s bodies. This was while I was on the board of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). There was a shock and even lots of anger coming from women around the world. The women were raging against the men of the medical professions, clinical and scientific, for not doing anything about women’s health. I was angry but I was surprised that no one had made these critical distinctions.
Then, knowing the wonderful men serving with me on the NCI Board, who had been doing studies forever, I knew it was not out of some vendetta against women that women were left out of studies. It had just not occurred to the men doing the studies.
They didn’t hate women – they loved their mothers, wives, daughters and sisters. They all agreed that change in protocol would have to occur and it did. There was never any malice intended.
I’m glad that this critical information finally surfaced which now allows vital gender studies to take place. I felt that the men involved didn’t need to be attacked for purposely leaving women out of studies. It was simply part of the evolution of women’s health care.
I’d like to add here on a personal note how many men have been involved in my women’s heart disease prevention work over the past 12 years. And, I couldn’t have done this without them. Beginning with my sports oriented husband, and also our hockey and basketball players who took time to help bring awareness to the issue, as well as many friends and colleagues. Your help was important to raise awareness for both breast cancer and heart disease.
Thanks, guys, for all your help in the past and in the present!