Thursday, 24 September 2009

Media Attention and Public Awareness

There is a distinct lack of public awareness of peyronie's disease. In many ways we live in a very sexualised age, but that openness doesn't really extend to sexual health problems. The inbuilt or cultural embarrassment when it comes to talking about such issues is very evident. Just ask the average person to name characteristics of various sexually transmitted diseases. They most
likely won't be able to tell you a great deal. It's not as if the information isn't out there, so there is a "ignorance is bliss" element to this, as well as a "it won't happen to me" mindset. Another sexual health issue, erectile dysfunction, is still something that people titter about, and the true magnitude of it only really came to light once there was effectively a solution available for many men (cialis, viagra, levitra). Often people only start talking about a problem when the solution hits the market.

Peyronie's disease is perhaps the epitome of this inability to talk. Sufferers often don't talk because they are embarrassed or ashamed, and peyronie's isn't really as 'daytime TV friendly' as other health concerns so media attention is somewhat lacking. To compound this peyronie's disease is an orphan disease so there's no great push from within the medical community to get things moving either. Awareness and momentum falls short in just about every area you can think of. If somebody asked me to say what the public perception of peyronie's disease is, I'd simply say "there isn't one". It's ironic in a sense though, because it's certainly a very memorable condition (speaking from experience). Once people do hear about peyronie's disease they do not tend to forget. That, I suppose is a good thing for when awareness does eventually increase.

Really it is simply asking too much that the general public educate themselves when they have no real need or motivation to do so. A push for recognition has to happen through either the media, the medical community, or from themselves sufferers. Perhaps elements of all three will eventually align at some point to shine a light on this problem. The nature of media is to push boundaries, and to look for something new. Combine that with advancements in medicine and an ageing population (since peyronie's disease tends to affect older men) and I do believe that knowledge of the condition will eventually be much more widespread.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Channel 4's - Embarrassing Bodies series has a short documentary of a chap undergoing the Nesbitt procedure, which I thought I'd post here. It's actually quite an insightful video on the surgical option and shows the procedure in all it's lovely clinical glory... Enjoy!

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