Men, you're missing the mark when it comes to managing your own health. As a result, you're missing the chance to find and deal with health problems in their early stages. This is when many conditions are more treatable and less threatening to overall health.

What are they thinking?

Sometimes, men tend to seek healthcare only when there is a “crisis.” They may see themselves as strong and healthy enough to skip checkups and recommended screenings. This attitude may not be surprising to psychologists. Some research studies have found that men are less likely than women to seek help for health problems. This includes physical and emotional health issues. Some experts say this is a learned behavior. Many men are raised to act tough and independent, so they stay in control and seem less vulnerable. They may come to view themselves as protected from disease. Men also may fear that others will think their healthcare provider visits are unmanly or weak. This is especially so if the men around them also don't get preventive health care.

Screenings men can’t live without

The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force and other health groups encourage men to have regular health screenings to find serious health problems early. Men should ask their healthcare provider about tests for the following:

Time for a new attitude

The leading causes of death for U.S. men are heart disease, cancer (colorectal, testicular, prostate, and lung), stroke, lung disease, accidents, and diabetes. The risk of developing these conditions can be lowered with a healthy lifestyle, a healthy diet, regular exercise and regular health care. Many conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are “silent” illnesses. They don't cause symptoms that may lead to a healthcare provider's visit. Routine checkups and screenings are important for finding hidden problems and staying healthy.

Tips for partners

If the man you care about does not get preventive medical visits, keep encouraging him to put his health first. A spouse or other loved one can influence a man's decision to see their healthcare provider.