A survey has found that more and more men are refusing medical checkups for the fear that they may get ridiculed over "man-flu".
It showed that more than 52 per cent of males think the term man-flu - a term portraying men as being soft and over-exaggerating their cold symptoms - prevents them taking advice about a legitimate illness.
And more than 40 per cent said the derogatory term was denying them the right to be ill.
Peter Baker, from the Men's Health Forum, said it was time for the jokes about man-flu to end.
"Unfortunately, it has become acceptable for men to be labelled with man-flu when they're feeling unwell," the Daily Express quoted him as saying.
"However, the reality is not that men complain too much but that too many continue to suffer in silence and avoid their GP, which in some cases can lead to potentially serious medical conditions going undetected."
The study, conducted by Pfizer, found only 55 per cent of men visit their GP once or more a year compared with 72 per cent of women and more than half worried about wasting their doctor's time.
A large number also chose not to visit their doctor when they had symptoms which could be the early warning signs of underlying conditions such as heart problems, prostate cancer or diabetes.