I hate going to the doctor. However, I understand that visiting my doctors for annual check-ups result in a long healthy life. I make a different appointment every quarter to avoid feeling stressed out.
I spread out my physical, my eye exam, dental and OB/GYN appointments over the year.
For example, every May I make my way to the doctor’s office for my physical exam. At my exam, my doctor conducts a full body skin check.
He literally checks my skin from head to toe. This test is important to check for non-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions. If you have family history of skin cancer and avoid wearing sunscreen, you really need to have you skin accessed annually by a physician or dermatologist.
When you are showering, check your body for any changes in your skin. Look at mole size, new moles, skin tags and general changes in your skin.
At your appointment, alert your doctor to any changes in your skin. Take a picture with your phone of any moles or any skin changes. Take pictures once a month and compare to the previous month for possible changes. You can also show the photos to your doctor or dermatologist.
After my physical, I usually leave with several doctor’s notes for a mammogram and blood tests.
Mammograms are covered under preventative care by your insurance company. Women under 40 should have a mammogram every one to two years, and women over 50 should continue to have them once every year or two years. Different organizations currently have different recommendations on the frequency.
According to the American Cancer Society, "Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. (Only lung cancer kills more women each year.) The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 36 (about 3 percent)."
The American Cancer Society website goes on to say, "Death rates from breast cancer have been dropping since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50.