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What every man over 40 should ask his doctor

(StatePoint) Annual physicals may not be at the top of every man’s to-do list, but these visits are crucial for longevity -- especially for those men over 40.

There’s no better time than your check-up to have all your looming health questions answered. Make the most of your next visit by composing a checklist of things you’d like to talk about during your appointment.

No matter how healthy you feel, there are some discussion points you’ll definitely want to cover:

Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting one in six men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. If you’re a man over 40, there are several major risk factors that you need to know about. If you are African-American, or have a family history of prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about your prostate health, beginning at age 40.

The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with this potentially life-threatening illness, but that doesn’t mean younger men are not also diagnosed. In fact, one in every 38 men aged 40 to 59 is diagnosed with prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about when you should begin screenings and how you can lower your risk of diagnosis.

Be proactive! Visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation website at www.PCF.org for more information on risk factors, and to access a list of prevention tips.

Your Heart’s Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease causes more than one in four deaths of men in the United States.

To get an accurate gauge of your risk, be honest with your doctor. He or she can’t advise you properly if you don’t share all the facts on your habits -- good and bad.

Have your blood pressure and cholesterol tested at recommended intervals. Ask your doctor if your levels are normal and what you can do if they aren’t. If you don’t currently get regular physical activity, your doctor can advise you on safely easing into an exercise program.

Diabetes Risk

Many people have the misconception that if something is wrong; their bodies will let them know. But diabetes often begins without symptoms. Your risk factor for developing diabetes goes up if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or a family history of the disease. Ask your doctor if you need to be screened.

In the meantime, lower your risk for diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight. Your doctor is a great resource for helping you form an effective weight management plan.

It’s vital for men to manage their risks for life-threatening diseases like prostate cancer, and one of the best ways to do that is with regular visits to the doctor. If it’s been over a year since your last appointment, call today to schedule a visit.

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