DEAR HARRIETTE: I just learned that an old family friend has come down with prostate cancer. He said he has to have surgery and probably chemotherapy and radiation. He didn't look very good and he was definitely upset when he told me. I learned from his wife that he hadn't gone to the doctor for a long time after he was feeling poorly. She was furious with him. I totally understand how frustrating it sounded, and I am in the same boat in a way. My husband doesn't believe in going to the doctor. He takes herbs and vitamins and exercises a lot, but he is of a certain age and hasn't had a physical in years. Recently, he has had some urinary problems, and I need him to get checked out. I don't want him to wait and then if he does have a problem it's too late to deal with it. How can I get him to get a checkup? -- Go to the Doctor
DEAR GO TO THE DOCTOR: Use the "scared straight" tactic. Tell your husband everything you know about your friend who was just diagnosed, including that he took forever to go see a doctor. Explain that there are many conditions that can be treated successfully if caught early enough. Suggest a complete physical as a way to determine his overall health. If anything needs to be addressed, chances are that one physical will help to figure that out. Offer to set up the appointment and go with him.