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Health exam question

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    Re: Health exam question

    I'm a 74 y.o. retired nurse, so yes, I get regular check-ups. I think everyone should...

    1) Get an annual physical with the necessary lab tests -- other check-ups as needed
    2) Dental cleanings & checks every 6 mos.
    3) Vision exams yearly
    4) Both men & women should do self breast exams (Yes, men do get breast cancer as well as women!)
    5) Baseline colonoscopy at age 50, then as recommended
    6) Annual mammograms for women
    7) Annual pelvic exams for women
    8) Skin checks by a dermatologist annually -- esp. if you live at a higher altitude where the skin cancer rate is higher. All those lovely tans we wanted to have when we were younger come back to bite you in your older years.

    Many symptoms are "silent". As was mentioned, one may not realize they have high B/P or high glucose readings. The rate of pre-diabetes & diabetes is sky rocketing. Both hypertension & diabetes are risk factors for stroke & heart disease. No matter how healthy your lifestyle, you still need to have regular check-ups.


      Re: Health exam question

      I go for yearly checkup but I have some medical conditions. I just need follow up with specialists. Recently I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis so another specialist! I don't go very often for simple things!

      I am a 59 year old nurse so I do all the regular checkups.
      I also do dental cleaning/checkups every 6 months. DIL is a dental assistant so she makes sure I go!
      Last edited by QuiltingRN; November 7, 2016, 08:30 PM.


        Re: Health exam question

        As a retired advanced practice nurse I guess I really have no excuse for not adhering to guidelines, but I confess I don't always do the exams. At 69 I am healthier since I lost weight, I exercise regularly and have always had great blood pressure. When I gained weight my blood sugar rose a bit, but it's back down now, so no medical measures needed.

        Screening tests are not necessarily hard and fast rules one size fits all. It depends on your risk factors and medical history and are based on research. There is a tremendous amount of money wasted on screening tests for rare events in individuals with no risk factors. I try not to do that.

        For example, the pap smear. Judging by what others have written some of you might not be aware of current guidelines. Here is a link to the standards - American Cancer Society guidelines. I would encourage you to think these through and how they apply to you. Print them out and take them to your next appointment. Why pay for nothing and go through that with no basis in science?


          Re: Health exam question

          Originally posted by Vonnie View Post
          My mother died at a very young age of uterine cancer. Before she was diagnosed, no one in our extended family had any major health problems. After my mothers diagnosis all our female relatives of a certain age had checkups. Two had breast cancer and another three had to have hysterectomy's. My mother's tragedy actually saved their lives because they caught it in the early stages. Scary. This was 50 years ago. One of those relatives just passed away, she was in her ninety's.

          As much as I don't like to get poked and prodded, I get the checkups when recommended. If my mother had, she might still be alive. She was younger than the aunt who just passed away. Mom was only 36.
          I agree, Vonnie. I've lost several friends to cancer. In most cases, had they talked to their doctors at regular checkups it might have been caught earlier. The signs are often different than what you might think so waiting "until you feel bad" is often too late.
          Patrice S


            Re: Health exam question

            I will agree with Joy on this one. For years, we did not have insurance or had minimal insurance and only went to the doctor or dentist when we had an illness. Now I have good insurance, and most of my regular check-ups are covered at 100% - yearly physical exam, pap, mammogram, bone density, routine bloodwork, immunizations/vaccines (such as flu shots), dental exam every 6 months, annual eye exam - maybe a couple of other things. I have some minor health issues that are monitored at that exam and in between when needed. I avoided going to the doctor for years, and I have a great fear of the dentist, but I make myself go because in the long run, it's better to do the preventive care. And, there are some health conditions that run in my family that I like to keep tabs on, in case I would develop any of those. I am fortunate to have a great doctor and a couple of specialists that I see as needed, and I have faith in them and how they work with me to manage my health.


              Re: Health exam question

              As JCY said, many symptoms are silent. I didn't go to the doctor, until I had a odd pain in my side. I had a tumor the size of a football on my right ovary in my early 30's. Pap smear could have caught it. I'd rather have been inconvenienced by an annual appointment & the brief moments of discomfort during the exam than major invasive surgery, hospitalization, chemo, ER visits, meds, bills, dealing with disability, insurance and on and on. Luckily I can say live and learn.
              So, if you are able, I would say go to your doctor, and be your own best health advocate.
              But I still loathe the dentist.


                Re: Health exam question

                While I don't run to the doctor right away when feeling under the weather, I am faithful about my annual GYN exams, mammos, and physicals. I currently have good insurance that pays 100% for these preventive measures, and dentist 3 times/yr. These routine exams (and suggested colonoscopy) helped me detect some things I may not have otherwise (high cholesterol, pollups, fibrous-cystic breasts, etc.). I try to eat healthy, but am not always great about it. Will I continue this so faithfully, once I am retired and don't have as good of an insurance policy? I don't know the answer to that question. Meanwhile, I am thankful and blessed to be in basically good health.
                Spring, TX