Checkups He Needs

What you need to know before your next doctor appointment
By Camille Noe Pagn

Men visit their doctors 30 percent less often than women, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Women's Health. So beyond specific maladies that may prompt visits, guys should arrive at each doctor's appointment knowing which tests to request, says Emily Senay, M.D., author of From Boys to Men: A Woman's Guide to the Health of Husbands, Partners, Sons, Fathers, and Brothers.

In addition to health history, Senay recommends that men discuss the following points with their docs at their next visit:

Blood pressure. High readings can be a predictor of heart conditions and may indicate that you need to make preventative diet and exercise changes.

Skin cancer screenings. Men are less likely to wear sunscreen and often miss the signs of sun damage, Senay says. Have a physician or dermatologist check for unusual moles or lesions.

Diabetes and cholesterol levels. Two simple blood tests can reveal your cholesterol levels and whether you've developed diabetes, an often-undetected problem in men.

Prostate protection. Discuss any below-the-belt pain or issues that may be affecting you, and ask for a prostate exam and a colon checkup.