A User's Guide to Your Physical Exam

If it feels like too much for you, ask your PCP to hold off on some of it until the next visit. Similarly, your PCP may postpone some things (1) until he/she establishes a good rapport with you -- especially on sensitive issues such as cancer; and/or (2) if you have more immediate pressing health needs that require attention first.

Some screenings have gained attention because the recommendations have recently changed due to new evidence. For example, if you are a man younger than 75, prostate cancer screening is one that should be discussed with your PCP because of the uncertainty about the benefits of treating prostate cancer detected in those who have no symptoms.

Some doctors think that prostate cancer is overdiagnosed and that testing with PSA (prostate specific antigen blood test) picks up small cancers that in some cases may not go on to harm you. However, in some cases prostate cancer can go on to cause serious harm or death, and we currently don't have great ways of knowing which will and which won't when they are small. Once one has tested positive there are significant psychological burdens associated, even if it is decided to "do nothing" and just monitor the cancer.

Prostate cancer treatment options are also associated with risk of erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, bowel dysfunction, and in rare cases death. For these reasons, many men decide not to be tested unless they have symptoms of disease such as frequent urination or difficulty urinating. Talk with your doctor about this test to see what is right for you.

The screening and vaccination recommendations were adapted from the from the US Preventative Task Force and CDC recommendations. For full details, please visit http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspstopics.htm#Otopics and http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/adult-schedule.htm.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11100823.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...