Nobody likes to visit the doctor, but men are far less likely to do so than women. And that hang-up could be one of the main reason's why men's life expectancy is coming up short by six years, when compared with women's life expectancy [source: ABC News].
It might be that men think they ought to be able to ride out illnesses. Or maybe some men think that admitting concern about their health is a sign of weakness. Sometimes, if a problem is extremely personal, guys would rather not discuss it at all. Even when men do go to the doctor, they may not see the value in getting a regular physical. The mentality is, "I feel fine, so everything must be OK." They may also be less likely to ask important questions about their health.
This lack of openness at the doctor's office can have some serious consequences. On average, men are at a higher risk for diseases like cancer -- a man's risk of developing cancer in his lifetime is one in two, while a woman's is one in three [source: ABC News]. They're also more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like smoking and drinking, and they have higher stress levels. These factors can lead to conditions and diseases that, if left undetected and untreated, can be debilitating or even fatal.
Doctors aren't just there to treat you when you're sick; they're also there to help prevent you from getting sick in the first place. In this article, we'll talk about why it's important for men to see their physicians on a regular basis -- and what kinds of questions they should be asking them.