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View Diary: The Annual Physical (25 comments)

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  •  Annual physical? (7+ / 0-)

    What's this? Much as those in the States don't want to hear it, annual physicals are an oxymoron under the NHS in the UK. I have a family history of diabetes and heart attacks on both sides of the family and have kept careful track of fasting glucose and cholesterol for many years. When I moved here I asked for a yearly test and was asked if I felt ill. Both high cholesterol and diabetes are known as the silent killers because symptoms of illness show up far too late.
    Supposedly an annual physical would save the NHS a lot of money and time according to American metrics but NICE, the arm of the NHS that figures out cost/benefit ratios, has figured out that this isn't true, so I go to a private clinic in Brussels to have an annual screening done.
    Admittedly, this diary is not about availability of screening, but a yearly checkup is taken for granted. Even in so called developed countries, this is not the case.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 05:23:27 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  An interesting thing (7+ / 0-)

      Of course I didn't expect the idea of an annual physical to start a discussion but think it's very interesting that it is coming up. Thanks for your thoughts.

      For me, it is essential and I'd line up at a free clinic if that was what was needed as both my parents died of cancer and since there may be a susceptibility on both sides it would be crazy to not be as informed as I can.

      Am very worried about what the Robert's court is going to do to National Health Care this month. Interesting to wonder that even if all goes as planned will annual physicals be covered?

      •  Considering (4+ / 0-)

        the international race to the bottom, I have my doubts.
        Thank you for responding to a tangential thread hijack ;-)

        "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

        by northsylvania on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 06:01:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are few predictive tests (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BillyElliott, Only Needs a Beat

        for cancer that are worth taking. Colonoscopy is one and it is a true preventive test when polyps are found. The Pap smear is another. PSA tests mainly generate income to the provider. The lead scientist on the massive study at NIH, Otis Brawley on the PSA test says it causes more invasive procedures and treatments than real benefits and he will not get one although he is African American, who have a higher rate of prostate cancer.

        Did your parents die of the same type of cancer? Or was either one of the few types that have a hereditary basis? And is there any valid screening test for early detection?

        Annual physicals were never covered in Medicare until the Obama administration directed that they be included. There hasn't been any big complaints about this either. If it was a matter of concern we would have heard about it from AARP.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:53:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  heredity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Only Needs a Beat

          Parents died of different types of cancer. The one that concerns me most is pancreatic cancer, father died of it in his prime.

          That's great news about Obama having physicals covered under Medicare, thanks for that info.

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