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Comment from: Ruth [Visitor]
I'm not happy that you lumped mammograms in with blood tests and dental exams.

I'm planning to not get mammograms- not because I'm afraid of the result, but because I've done research on the risks and benefits of that particular test, and came to the conclusion that the risks (of potentially causing cancer by radiating sensitive breast tissue, as well as the risk of false positives) don't outweigh the benefits (of possibly finding cancer a little bit earlier than a self-exam would.)

I do my regular breast exams, and wouldn't hesitate to see my GYN (or one of the male doctors on staff if it meant getting seen sooner) if I found something suspicous. I go to my PCP once a year and get full labwork done. I get my vitamin D levels checked more often. I see my GYN once a year for my PAP smear. I see my dentist for checkups twice a year.

We all need to take control of our own health. That includes doing a risk/benefit analysis of any test or treatment the doctor reccomends. Sometimes we'll decide to not do what the doctor wants- which is different from "not taking care of yourself."
07/21/11 @ 16:31
Comment from: Kathleen [Visitor]
Looking forward to Part II, I'm having my first colonoscopy this Tuesday. I have homemade beef and chicken broth in the freezer for the "day before" cleansing. No Jello for this O!
07/21/11 @ 18:10
Comment from: Peppermint Twist [Visitor]
I don't tend to avoid tests due to fearing the results, but rather due to fearing the danger inherent to the test relative to the potential diagnostic benefit of the test. I had a knock-down, drag-out with my primary care doctor's office this past year because I refused to get a mammogram after having one the year before and also having a nuclear stress test that same year, within weeks of each other. I simply felt that was too much radiation, no matter what anyone says about how safe both are. I weighed the risks of not getting the mammogram and it was about 50/50 which way I should go. My age is in my favor, but my family history (mom had breast cancer) gave me pause. I will get the mammogram this coming September. I just skipped one year, due, as I said, to feeling I had too many radiation-laden tests the previous year.

That said, even though I didn't want the radiation of that nuclear stress test, I was convinced by the doctors that I needed it, so I got it. I think there needs to be a balance between the danger of the test versus the danger of NOT getting the test, and only the individual and her or his docs can weigh all that, based on the specific situation.

I definitely agree that we shouldn't avoid tests due to fear of the results. But sometimes a good healthy fear of the risks of the test itself outweigh the potential benefits, and like I just said, only the patient--armed with knowledge of the specific situation and the best advice of the doctors, can ultimately make that decision.
07/28/11 @ 10:09

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