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When your doctor, spouse or mother asks, you avert your eyes. You know you should be getting regular health screenings, but you just … don’t.
Is it because you don’t have time? Think they’re too expensive? Want to avoid discomfort? Here’s how to get over it.
It’s not about having the time. It’s about making the time. After all, you make time for everyone else’s health care needs in your household. Why not make time for yours?
If you feel bogged down in appointment after appointment, plan in advance, schedule all your screenings for one day and take the day off work. Then, reward yourself with a movie, spa service or an afternoon of shopping.
This is an easy one.
“If you have a primary care physician, they are the best person to help you monitor and make sure you’re staying on track with all the tests recommended for your age group,” says Heather G. Strittmatter, MD, a radiologist on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano who specializes in breast imaging.
Another idea is to schedule all your annual screenings to take place during your birthday month.
Even if you don’t have insurance, there are plenty of low-cost and no-cost screenings available. Government programs offer discounts on mammograms.
And hospitals offer simple tests such as blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and prostate cancer screenings at community health fairs. Talk to your doctor about your options or explore offerings at your local hospital, including seminars that may equip you with wellness and prevention information.
True, some screenings are uncomfortable. “We do everything in our power to make things easy and comfortable,” Dr. Strittmatter says. “And a few minutes of discomfort are worth a potentially lifesaving test.”
Some people avoid screenings because they feel healthy. Others don’t want to know what they might find.
“But knowing the results of a test aren’t going to change what’s there,” Dr. Strittmatter says. “Finding out will only benefit you in the end.”
Talk to your doctor about the health screenings you need. To find a doctor on the medical staff at Baylor Plano, call 1.800.4BAYLOR or search our online directory.
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