health screening

Do you go, or would you rather not know

1 to 20 of 34 messages
25/06/2012 at 12:56

just been for my annual scolding at the GP; yes I'm over weight; yes I know it; yes I'm sure at my age it has implications; yadda yadda yadda. 

Then we got onto health screenings. I was offered several, but I don't take them up on the offer. Despite what a lot of the medical profession seems to think, death is inevitable, and I am going to die of something; why not let it be a surprise? They can't sure everything, and having watched someone die of an incurrable disease, I'm not sure I'd want to know what fate had in store for me in that regard. 

Possibly a bit off an eccentric view, I know, and possibly not well transferred to text. Do you knpw what i mean, or am I off at the deep end?

25/06/2012 at 12:58

But what if they find something that they could cure and don;t so you die decades before you should and miss your family, grandkids etc all growing up ?

 

(ps I don;t go to screenings either !)

25/06/2012 at 13:00

My instinct says the same HL, but I usually give in and get the screening done eventually.

I guess for me the question is whether I am prepared to change my lifestyle depending on the results, and to be honest, I'm not.  I live a fairly healthy life, eercise, eat properly, don't smoke, drink in moderation and I have no plans to change that.

I reluctantly go for tests such as smear tests where early detection might make a difference, but don't see any point in me wasting NHS money on things like cholestrol tests.

25/06/2012 at 13:02

I think I know what you mean

For me it would depend on what the screening tests were for. If it's something I can't influence in anyway, either by changing my lifestyle/taking a medication, then I probably wouldn't want to know. Although if I did know, it might make me live my life differently... but whether the changes were positive (making the most of life, living every day, etc. etc.) or negative (taking up drinking, being reckless...) I don't know! 

If the screening tests were for something I could influence, I'd want to know. I was screened for a breast cancer gene which runs in my Dad's side of the family. I had to go through genetic counselling beforehand, just so they could make sure I'd be able to 'cope' with the results. The test was negative, although the geneticist was convinced there's a gene on my Mum's side too, so warned me I'm high risk anyway. Like you say - you have to die of something. But I'd like to think I do what I can to reduce my risks.

25/06/2012 at 13:04

I am a big fan of screenings at work - mainly to get the substantial discount off my gym membership. But the first one I went to diagnosed a seriously high blood pressure reading (even after a year of running, and substantial weight loss). Weight might be one thing, but blood pressure is the 'silent killer': really no observable symptoms. I presume other health issues may also be like this: only picked up by a proper screening. Take your point about everyone has to go, but I want it to be as late as possible.

25/06/2012 at 13:05

As Dave says, if they found something which could be cured more easily if found early,it would surely be better than not knowing and then having to have radical treatment, or it being too late altogether?

Do you avoid smear tests?  Not much fun, but could save your life.  Same thing with breast screening.

25/06/2012 at 13:14
Wilkie wrote (see)

As Dave says, if they found something which could be cured more easily if found early,it would surely be better than not knowing and then having to have radical treatment, or it being too late altogether?

Do you avoid smear tests?  Not much fun, but could save your life.  Same thing with breast screening.

As in sadly dead aged 50...... and all caused by something that if found 12 months earlier could have been cured........

.... and it has left a very big hole in other peoples lives as well.

25/06/2012 at 13:58

Generally, I'd prefer to know if I had something.

Whether I'd get screened would depend on the test - risk of adverse events, how invasive it is, accuracy, etc and how (un)likely it was I had whatever was being tested for.

Had a GP check me for testicular cancer once, he was disturbingly thorough. Relieved to find out there wasn't anything wrong with me though.

25/06/2012 at 14:03

No kids, so nothing of that seeing them grow up business to worry about. and the people who'd miss me could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. I'm not an integral part of many lives. 

No, I don't have smear tests, it was one of the screenings I've just declined. I seem to be recalled every time, and it's never been due to anything suspect, just they don't seem to read cleanly. I'm not sure the stress of multiple tests (I think the record was 5 before one came back clear enough to read) is worth it - especially when I'm not in a high risk category to start with. 

And I'm not terribly keen on the idea of intervention anyway. not saying I'd refuse an operation, but I'd certainly start from a point of scepticism. 

And it can't "save your life" - all it can do is delay it. It just might mean that you don't succum to that particular illness just then. Like Sarah's reducing the risk of dying - it can't risk of dying - it is a guarenteed 100%.

which sounds a bit down. I'm not saying i want to die, but I'm not sure i want to spend all my life trying to avoid the event. 

25/06/2012 at 15:35

I don't spend a lot of time trying to avoid dying, but I do have smear tests (every couple of years) and breast screening (only had one so far, can't be more often than once a year?) because they could significantly prolong my life.

I enjoy life, so I take simple, if sometimes a bit uncomfortable, steps to keep it as long as I want.  I'd hate to pass up years of my life for the sake of about one appointment a year!

Edited: 25/06/2012 at 15:36
25/06/2012 at 15:37

As with HL, no kids and the only person that would miss me is more likely to die before me.

I don't want to live forever, well if I could live forever then that would be interesting but I'm not going to live forever so what's in 10 or so years?

So it's a no from me. That's having watched my mother take 10 yrs to die from cancer. Giving up her life little by little, bit by bit. Living in constant and extreme pain, crying herself to sleep at night, that's when sleep did come.

Remains no, I'd rather crash and burn. Goodnight.

25/06/2012 at 15:45

I take all the screening tests I'm offered. I would rather know if I had a condition even if it couldn't be cured. In some circumstances catching a disease early can be the difference between taking relatively painless steps to cure the problem and dying a painful, protracted and undignified death.

Even if I had a terminal illness, I would rather know so that I could make the most out of the time I had left, instead of discovering when it was too late to go skydiving, take that motorbike trip down Route 66 etc etc.

seren nos yn canu    pirate
25/06/2012 at 15:46
So avoid screening that could pick up risk factors for a stroke.....so no changes on lifestyle and stress......so you have a stroke....do not die but live the rest of your life in a half functioning body and need strangers to Do basic duties for you. I would rather know if I had higher risk factors and make thye changes....
25/06/2012 at 16:20

I never said it was a logical arguement... 

Apart from being a porker, I'm low or normal for most other things I've ever had tested, so maybe the presence of lower risk factors makes it seem less of a useful exercise. 

25/06/2012 at 16:57

I've never been offered a screening to avoid - but if I was I think I'd go along to it - if I had a health condition I'd rather know about it than not.   

25/06/2012 at 17:11
xine267 wrote (see)

I take all the screening tests I'm offered. I would rather know if I had a condition even if it couldn't be cured. In some circumstances catching a disease early can be the difference between taking relatively painless steps to cure the problem and dying a painful, protracted and undignified death.

Even if I had a terminal illness, I would rather know so that I could make the most out of the time I had left, instead of discovering when it was too late to go skydiving, take that motorbike trip down Route 66 etc etc.

I'm with Xine on both of these.

Dark Vader    pirate
25/06/2012 at 17:41

One thing is for sure...  I do not want to end up in a care home, unable to do even basic functions without assistance.     There was a big 'quality of life' debate on here ages ago and various points of view were suggested.   I don't want to be kept artifically alive on a life support system either.  Just switch the damn thing off.   I don't want to be a burden to my family and grow old and feeble...

So..  I think screening is a good thing...   and the right to choose when to die is too.

 

25/06/2012 at 18:44

Screening shouldn't be offered unless there is a safe solution to the problem being screened for.  A lot of the private screening companies test for problems that do not have a solution - they then dump bad news on people who have to make difficult decisions or live with that knowledge

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/ultrasound-screening-misleading-the-public/

 

If the NHS offer you screening it usually (always?)has sound research backing it up. I can appreciate your attitude HL and have just started feeling that way myself. However I still drag myself along because life is damn precious and screening means I can probably enjoy it longer.

 

Half the problem for me is that there are so many screening opportunities that people feel overwhelmed/fed up with poked and prodded.

If however you had no opportunities and had to pay ... well I suspect public perception would change to valuing it more.

 

 

 

 

25/06/2012 at 21:30

What are these screening opportunities - like I say nobody ever offers me any !

25/06/2012 at 21:46

http://www.screening.nhs.uk/programmes

pops - just hang in there...

At 60 you can have bowel screening

At 65 you can have AAA screening

If you have diabetes you can have your retinas screened

If you had a cervix someone would peer at it for you

If you had breasts (moobs don't count) someone would crush them for you

Some areas have cardio vasc checks for 45 year olds.

They are planning to bring in a flexy sigmoidoscopy screening service for 60 yr olds I think...

Just get old and it all happens

 

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