What you need to know before your next doctor appointment

August 25, 2008

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 thatmay prompt visits, guys should arrive at each doctor's appointmentknowing 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 discussthe following points with their docs at their next visit:

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

Skin cancer screenings. Men are less likely to wearsunscreen and often miss the signs of sun damage, Senay says. Havea physician or dermatologist check for unusual moles orlesions.

Diabetes and cholesterol levels. Two simple blood tests canreveal your cholesterol levels and whether you've developeddiabetes, an often-undetected problem in men.

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

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