Why are women with brain tumours being dismissed as attention-seekers?

Why are women with brain tumours being dismissed as attention-seekers?

Women with serious medical conditions are more likely than men to have their symptoms attributed to depression and anxiety, and face delayed diagnosis according to new research. It’s time to end the gender disparity in diagnosis

Rest of article here:


The final paragraph starts: This is not a competition, though... It is important to improve the system for all.

12 Replies

  • Because, in general, male GPs and male consultants are sexist misogynists and bullies. I have experienced it first hand, as I am sure many have.

  • My thought, when I read "bikini approach" (great expression) was:

    Yes, that figures. Those are the only parts of the female body that the predominantly male medical profession finds interesting or worthy of their attention.

    And I'd never had that thought before... :'( {sigh}

  • This goes back at least to Victorian time when women were seen as having hysteria and were easily incarcerated. Perhaps it arose from no understanding of PMT .

  • Is that a joke?

  • Just a top of the head thought no analysis involved .Women were seen as having odd behaviours described as hysteria . Now I have seen PMT in full flow - nearly got knifed! There was also the excuse to get rid of an inconvenient wife .

    What do you reckon was "hysteria" ?

  • Helvella,

    Thanks for the link as it states what many of us think about some of our treatments. Excerpt from your link:-

    "Historically, women’s health has been viewed with a “bikini approach”, the primary focus being breasts and the reproductive system. Cardiologist Nanette K Wenger notes that heart disease, for example, is perceived as a man’s disease.

    A 1960s conference hosted by the American Heart Association in Oregon on women and cardiovascular disease was entitled: “How Can I Help My Husband Cope with Heart Disease?. Accepting this gender-uniform model of disease has repercussions. One study drew data from 35,875 cardiac patients, 41% of them women, across nearly 400 US hospitals. It found that women faced a higher risk of dying in hospital, subsequent heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke. They were less likely to have an ECG within 10 minutes and to receive crucial medications. And women younger than 65 years old are more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack than men of the same age."

    We know by the misogynistic guidelines of the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid dysfunctions by the BTA that thousands of women do not get optimum treatment or offered alternatives to return to good health. Are thought of being 'hysterical' etc and palmed off with other medications to keep us quiet.

    As 'heart' is thought of as a man's disease' 'thyroid' is mainly women so are untreated until TSH is 10 when in other countries it's 3 or undermedicated or not offered alternatives so symptoms remain and they never get back to reasonable/good health.

  • I agree shaws, and this is why men w thyroid problems are also getting short-changed, because it is stimatised as a women's (and malingerers) problem.

  • I wouldn't be at all surprised if doctors at medical college are given some made-up statistic that women are 10,000 times more likely to visit a doctor compared to a man. it would go some way to explaining the indifference that we're often treated with, that also applies to female doctors who behave like men.

    Additionally there seems to be resentment amongst the medical profession that patients, both male and female, have become educated about health matters therefore they need to regain the upper hand and put them in their place.

  • Thanks for this post - inteeresting. Also I noticed one of the comments on the article in the Guardian referred to this aarda.org/autoimmune-inform... which is also interesting.

  • Thanks for posting - another good link.

  • In the final paragraph where they state 'this is not a competition' I can't help but feel this is a red herring. I'm confident that the reason men aren't being diagnosed w breast cancer is because it is so much less common than breast cancer in women so no one - not the individuals nor their doctors - is looking for it, not because men are bringing breast lumps (and other symptoms) to the attention of the doctor and being told to go home and take an antidepressant, have a baby or (as I was told) get a job. These impediments to diagnosis are apples and oranges, not the same at all.

    In any case, as always it is good to see someone saying it in black and white.

  • For me, diagnosis of hypothryoidism came only because I asked for TSH tests, and the results of those tests, over quite a long time, was a straight line going upwards.

    I doubt any of the medics I saw in that time would have offered a TSH at all. And part of the reason might have been that I am male and therefore not so likely to become hypothyroid. So it is possible I was subjected to both presenting evidence only to have it dismissed and a statistically based "I doubt it".

    [It was a complete non-medic who advised and guided me through diagnosis. Without that help I might never have been diagnosed.]

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