Why you need to convince the stubborn men in your life to see a doctor

Jun 25, 2015 at 6:49 p.m. ET
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If you ask most women, they can quickly tell you the name of their doctor and dentist. In fact, a recent national survey notes that women are three times more likely to have regular doctor visits than men.

To celebrate National Men's Health Month, I'm recruiting all the women out there to help get their boyfriends, husbands, dads, brothers and buddies into the doctor's office! Here are the top things most men miss out on when they skip the doctor and don't realize the significant health impact.

1. Skin cancer detection

Men are twice as likely to develop and die from skin cancer compared to women. Very few men wear SPF daily, while women tend to have sunscreen in their makeup and skin care products. Additionally, men spend more time outdoors than women do and of course, they avoid going to the doctor so chances of early detection are significantly reduced.

2. Blood pressure screening

Beginning at age 18, men should establish a relationship with a primary care physician. This can be an internist or a family physician. Getting blood pressure checks every two to three years helps catch borderline values early and gives us time to work together to modify any poor lifestyle habits and avoid medications. As men get into their mid and late 30s the likelihood of having high blood pressure increases. If he also has a family history of high blood pressure his risks continue to increase. Getting in to see a physician for screening is the best way to prevent heart disease and hypertension.

3. Prostate cancer screening

Among the medical community, prostate cancer screening is a controversial topic. Research shows that current screening tests may not always be specific for detecting cancers. What we do know is that certain risk factors including age, African-American race or a family history of prostate cancer increase a man's chance of developing the disease. Assessing his risk and beginning the discussion with his physician is the best way to assess a man’s risk and what type of testing he may need.

4. Waistline

Your guy may regularly hop on the scale to keep his gut in check, but you should be encouraging him to measure his waist as well. A waistline of 40 inches or greater is a significant risk factor for developing heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Some studies believe that this value may be even more important to consider than a man's weight.

Encouraging men to see a physician regularly is the best way to keep them healthy and happy!

What do you do to keep the men in your life healthy? Tweet me @ShilpiMD @SheKnows #MensHealthMonth