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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? Worry about discomfort?
Here’s how to get over it.
It’s not about having the time; it’s about making the time.
“Many physicians offer services in an afterhours setting,” says Kimberly McMillin, MD, a family medicine physician on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at Garland. “And many mammography places offer nights and weekend appointments.”
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.
“In the scheme of things, people spend a lot of money on different things,” Dr. McMillin says. “The cost of breast cancer could be $40,000. I think a $150 mammogram is a good deal.”
And even if you don’t have insurance, there are plenty of low-cost and no-cost screenings available through government programs and community health fairs. Talk to your doctor about your options.
This is an easy one. “Just set a reminder in your smartphone to get a screened every year,” Dr. McMillin says. Another idea is to schedule all your screenings during your birthday month each year.
True, some screenings are uncomfortable. “A mammogram is going to hurt a little, but there are things we do cosmetically that hurt just as much if not worse,” Dr. McMillin says. And in the end, it’s worth it.
Some people avoid screenings because they feel healthy. “I call it benign neglect,” Dr. McMillin says. “But it’s much better to find that high cholesterol at 45 than to wait until you have a massive heart attack.”
Talk to your doctor about the health screenings you need. To find a doctor on the medical staff at Baylor Garland, call 1.800.4BAY LOR or search our online directory.
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