Do you go for checkups?

78 posts in this topic

Posted

Just been given the news that my bother in law died of cancer. Riddled with it. We'd assumed he died of a heart attack as he dropped dead suddenly last week but it turns out he hadn't been for any regular checkups and it killed before anybody knew. In a way perhaps merciful as his partner didn't have to live through watching him die slowly. But who knows, maybe it was treatable if he'd been diagnosed and treated early?

So do you go for checkups? I have to say I 've been the last two years and been ducking it this year. Not been sick for over a year so why would I need it? All of a sudden with a jolt I'm reminded why.

So do you go for an regular checkup or duck it?

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Posted

So do you go for an regular checkup or duck it?

I used to go for a smear test once a year - I missed a few in the last 3 years, but started going again in 2012 and hope to keep it up again, it doesn't take long and doesn't hurt, but it's still something I like to put off, even though I know it's silly to.

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Posted

Yes, I go for a pap smear and ultrasound every 6 months and a Gesundheitscheck at my GP's office every two years. Thyroid check once a year and colonoscopy occasionally since I have IBD.

My f-i-l is a prostate and colon cancer survivor (they caught both early, thank goodness) so my husband also gets checked regularly for those two because he is more at risk through his dad.

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Posted

I skip it but it's not always an easy choice.

With regards the cancer thing, you don't say which one but screening is not always a good idea.

For example a 2010 report on 6 large prostate cancer screening trials found that screening increased the number of men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer BUT did nothing to reduce deaths or help men live longer.

Since 2 out of 3 men with a raised PSA rate (The screening test) do not have prostate cancer it seems to me that the chance of having a lot of un-needed tests and investigations is higher with screening than without, but my chances of living longer is unchanged.

More thoughts on prostate screening here:- Cancer Research UK page on screening for prostate cancer.

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Posted

I went for a check when I reached 55, just because I thought I should. They checked for cancer, heart, blood pressure and the like. The upshot of this is, after dithering around a bit after the results, I'm being treated for high blood pressure. I felt no effects of this so couldn't have known myself. High blood pressure can kill quite unexpectedly, so I'm glad I went.

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Posted

My father had melanoma many years ago which means I have apparently 10 times more chance than others of getting it. For this reason I am always asking doctors here (and in Oz where I think they are more geared to recognising it) if moles or the like are OK. As a side note, my father still gets skin cancers cut off as often as other people have waxing done. He is a farmer so unfortunately his years working in the 60s and 70s without cabins on headers totally stuffed his skin. Still alive though so that's something!

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Posted

I'm being treated for high blood pressure. I felt no effects of this

Yes, high blood pressure often has no symptoms at all and it's good to get checked once in a while.

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Posted

Duck it and pretend I'm invincible. In December of 2011, my ENT told me I had some precursors to mouth cancer and that I needed to go back in January. I put it off until May, I think it was, before someone pretty much forced me to go. The precursors had disappeared by then.

Same with the dentist. In 2005, I went to the dentist for the first time in 10 years. I expected to need a lot of work. Nothing. "Everything looks great. Come back in a year". It's now 8 years later, maybe I should make another appointment. Nah, I'll give it another 2 years.

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Posted

Same with the dentist. In 2005, I went to the dentist for the first time in 10 years.

Dentists are something else I think, I haven't been for dental treatment since 1986.

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Posted

Yes, high blood pressure often has no symptoms at all and it's good to get checked once in a while.

To make my thinking I'd just not go this year worse I had exactly the experience of not being sick and then told I had high blood pressure 2 years ago. I know I don't go because I'm scared I might be told something I don't want to hear but it is pretty stupid logic.

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Posted

Allershausen and Jaycool - you lucky things re dentists! I only have to book my next appointment and my dentist is ordering his new expensive car on the basis of what he will get from me!

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Posted

Jay. My dentist is stunningly hot. Want a referal?

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Posted

For the last four years, after a health scare, I had to go for a Pap smear and ultrasound every three months. I'm now down to every six months, and if I'm clear this year, should be able to go yearly from now on. Thyroid I get checked yearly (blood and ultrasound), blood pressure I check myself at home.

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Posted

See what happened to Steve Jobs.

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Posted

Jay. My dentist is stunningly hot. Want a referal?

Tell her you want a prostate exam, Jaycool...

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Posted

Jay. My dentist is stunningly hot. Want a referal?

I think that's the last thing I need, but thanks anyway. My ENT is not only hot, she wears short skirts and positions herself very provocatively with each leg on the outside of one of my legs... I'm very careful to look her in the eyes throughout the visit. :ph34r:

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Posted

I went for a check when I reached 55, just because I thought I should.

Great example from Allershausen. 10+ years later and he is clearly still going strong.

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Posted

I have been for being sick and my tendonitis problems but other than that no. I need to make an appt for my ob now that I am reminded, it has been over 3 years. I won't even mention the dentist...I should really make these appts.

If it wasn't for my tendonitis I wouldn't be at the docs every few months. I am currently in pain from my morning physiotherapy appt today, still hurting from the one on Friday. :( Definitely no fun.

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Posted

Great example from Allershausen. 10+ years later and he is clearly still going strong.

:D (Git)

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Posted

Allershausen and Jaycool - you lucky things re dentists! I only have to book my next appointment and my dentist is ordering his new expensive car on the basis of what he will get from me!

I think I'm supposed to get a new false tooth every few years (I had a tooth knocked out in a bike accident when I was a kid). I currently have the one that was put in in 1995. I didn't mention it when I was at the dentist in 2005 and neither did he.

My teeth seem to be really strong. I don't do anything special. I brush my teeth daily, usually only in the mornings :o ) and rinse with listerine, but that's about it. I floss very, very sporadically. Twice in the past couple of weeks, but it was probably over a year since the time before those.

My wife, on the other hand, has very weak teeth and is regularly at the dentist getting semi-major work done.

I sometimes wonder if my strong teeth aren't a product of the US adding flouride to the water.

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Posted

I go pretty regularly, but haven't been able to get Mr. Moondancer to go to the Dr. or the Dentist. He hasn't been to either one for 20 years. I am fearful that things will get worse with him, without us knowing about it. Biggest problem is he only has the military insurance, not German, and I simply cannot get him to go to one of the bases for a check-up. No dental coverage by Tri-Care either. Really, really sad and it scares me.

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Posted

He hasn't been to either one for 20 years. I am fearful that things will get worse with him, without us knowing about it.

If he's anything like me, he simply doesn't want to know. I've got the life insurance to take care of the wife and kids, and I want to go like PAS's BIL, or like my own brother; simply thinking everything is fine and going from "healthy" to dead from one minute to the next.

My brother's wife and kid had to watch him die, so I'd change that to me dying alone in my apartment, but other than that, just live life and kick when I kick.

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Posted

I went for a checkup, mainly for my thyroid, and now I'm sitting here strapped to a 24 hour blood pressure monitor. Lovely. Apparently my sugar levels are getting iffy as well. But my liver is fine :D

Dentists are blood sucking vultures - if you go regularly you will need regular work. The better your insurance, the more work you will "need". Fact.

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Posted

I get the impression that you get more encouragement to have checkups in the UK - I haven't lived in the UK as an adult, though, so it's just a second-hand impression. Here I've never been told to get a checkup at any time I've visited a dentist or doctor. There's no reminder scheme or anything.

When I have tried to get checkups the experience has put me off. I hate visiting the doctor's so put these things off, but two years ago I finally went to a gynaecologist and said I just wanted a basic checkup - all the preventive stuff that the health insurance pays for in full, nothing special that you have to pay extra for. A week later I got the bill (I'm on private insurance as a freelancer) and it was €140. I mentioned this to my MIL who was a gynaecologist, and she said it should be half that. Reading the bill she said that a certain number (not words) in one description meant they'd charged my for having a stool sample checked in a private lab. Seeing as I hadn't given them a stool sample this was an amazing feat. I wrote to the doctor and she uncomplainingly sent a new bill for half the price. Obviously I don't want to go back there again, so now I'm back to square one, looking for a new gynaecologist.

In the meantime my mother was diagnosed with a heart problem that often runs in families. My sisters in the UK went to the hospital and got full checkups; I made an appointment here, too. They had a barrage of tests including lying in one of those big tubes like on 'House'. I got some blood tests and an ultrasound, and was told to have another checkup in ten years' time. Despite speaking and understanding German just fine, I still don't feel certain that they did all the tests they could have, mainly as no-one explained to me what tests they were doing or why, and I was left to ask questions. I did ask questions, but how do I know if I asked all the right ones? Sometimes I wish that they treated patients like babies here, as they do in the UK!

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