Why You Shouldn't Put off that Visit to the Doctor

March 5, 2020

Why you Shouldn’t Put off that Visit to the Doctor
We all like to think of ourselves as invincible, don’t we? Especially those of us who are already dealing with chronic illness, who have advocated for ourselves and found some semblance of normalcy within the day to day routine if staying well. Nobody enjoys taking time out of their busy lives to go see another doctor, especially when you’re already a regular visitor. You have work to do, travel to enjoy, a family to spend time with.
Photo Credit: Negative Space

But if you’re of a certain age, putting off a routine doctor visit to get those little aches, pains and weird symptoms checked out can be a bigger deal than you think. Among those ages 50-70, often diseases and cancers can hide in plain sight, mimicking lesser known illnesses and if you’re not careful, diagnosis can come too late. Don’t put your life at risk - visit the doctor at the first sign of something wrong, no matter how minor. 

For women in this age group and even younger, heart attacks, heart disease and even heart failure can present symptoms that might just seem like your average case of anxiety or a minor panic attack. Things like tingling arms and stiff shoulders take a backseat to our insistence that it’s “just stress”. After all, we get those little aches and pains when we’re feeling anxious, don’t we? No sense in bothering the doctor for what’s probably nothing. 

Except, in some cases, it’s not nothing. Women are having heart attacks at younger and younger ages. Many of them fail to see a doctor, brushing off any concerns. The good news is that many women, especially those who are young, can recover from a heart attack and live a long and happy life, but only if you see a doctor in time. When ignored, heart problems will only get worse and can result in major illness or even premature death. 

Men see this issues as well, with illnesses such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops over time in both men and women (but mainly men) who work in jobs where they are exposed over a period of time to asbestos and other chemicals. This cancer builds slowly, often not even showing symptoms until it’s fully developed in the body. Because the symptoms are similar to other illnesses, often those who are sick don’t see a doctor right away, and because of this, many people newly diagnosed with mesothelioma are already into the advanced stage of the cancer and therefore only have, in some cases, years or even months to live. According to mesothelioma statistics, treatments are available, but are much more effective if you catch it early. This is why it’s so important to see a doctor at the first sign of something wrong, no matter how minor. 

These are just two examples of serious illnesses that men and women brush off as “no big deal”, failing to see their doctor and risking their health. No matter how minor those symptoms seem, schedule that routine visit and go get checked out. Best case scenario is that you’re fine, fit and healthy. In the case of something more serious, the sooner you get care, the better your chances are of a full recovery.

*contributed post*

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