October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this is the ideal time to discuss the importance of regular checkups for women. However, it is important to note that no matter your gender or age, regular physical exams are essential and should not be missed. These regular visits are crucial for living well and catching potential diseases early on when they are most treatable.
When to Be Seen for a Checkup
Every person is unique, and their need for checkups is also unique. You and your primary care physician will determine the right frequency for your checkups. Keep in mind that existing health conditions, the risk level for certain diseases, family history, and other factors will play a role in how often you should be seen.
Why Checkups are Important
Diagnosing diseases early through regular screening tests is the best defense for treating the disease. In general, the earlier you detect a disease, like breast cancer, the more treatable it is. Checkup visits are also your opportunity to ask your doctor questions about healthy living.
Why Regular Checkups Are Important for Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment
According to The American Cancer Society, “Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Breast cancer that’s found early, when it’s small and has not spread, is easier to treat successfully. Getting regular screening tests is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early.” Regular screenings can, therefore, be lifesaving.
Women should also be advised of the importance of regular cervical cancer screenings (Pap smear and HPV testing). Again, these regular screenings can drastically decrease the fatality rate of cervical and other female cancers if diagnosed early when the disease is most treatable.
The Importance of a Primary Care Provider (PCP) for Regular Visits
Developing a sustained partnership and personal relationship with a primary care provider (physician, physician’s assistant or PA, nurse practitioner or NP) can result in significant health benefits. Such as:
- Quicker, More Accurate Diagnosis - A primary care provider (PCP) knows your medical story better than anyone else, putting them in the ideal position to notice changes or patterns which leads to more accurate diagnosis.
- Lower Costs - Seeing your PCP on a regular basis and contacting them first in the case of an urgent concern, results in fewer medical visits and trips to the ER.
- Staying Healthier - Offering preventative care, helping you manage any chronic conditions and making personalized recommendations to improve your health; a primary care provider enhances your health at all stages of life.
- Trust - The long-term and comprehensive nature of primary care leads to a strong level of trust between you and your provider, making discussions about private health matters more comfortable.
- Referral to Specialists - With a large network of qualified specialists, your PCP is able to refer you to the right person for your personal needs
Make Your Health a Priority and Book Your Visit Today
It’s easy to make excuses to skip your checkup, however, you should think of this visit as a non-negotiable meeting you cannot miss. Your health should be your number one priority, start treating it that way and book your visit today.