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Thread: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

  1. #1
    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    I told the pharmacy to call my doctor for a new thyroid Rx. The nurse from the doctor’s office calls to tell me I must have a checkup because I hadn’t been there in two years. So, reluctantly and feeling held hostage, I made an appointment and went in. Turns out my doctor had already called in the prescription (good man) but then he says he recommends a mammogram, a bone density scan, and (for my upcoming 50th birthday) a colonoscopy. WTH?

    I tell him I don’t want a mammogram. He asks why and I tell him I think it’s a crap idea to radiate a body part that’s susceptible to cancer anyway. He simply says, “I understand.” I asked about thermography and he said it's not reliable (as though a mammogram is). I told him I had one mammogram and never intend to do it again.

    I asked him if I get a bone scan and it says that there’s an issue with bone density what would be the plan of action. He said he’d suggest weight-bearing exercise and increasing Vitamin K intake. I told him I’ve been lifting weights since I was 18 and I can increase my Vitamin K on my own.

    Then there’s the colonoscopy. Naturally, I don’t want to do it. I feel fine and have no concerning symptoms of any kind.

    He also wanted me to see my OB/GYN (who I haven’t seen in about five years) for a pap smear and to find out if I’ve been through menopause in case she recommends HRT. I’m not keen on that either.

    I asked him what’s up with all this testing recommendations out of the blue and he said that it’s like having an old car that needs more repair. I’m thinking a car can’t repair itself; but a human body can. I’m all about prevention and this all smells like CYA protocol.

    Anyway, I would like opinions on whether you all think I should have any testing done and why. I value your opinions. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Looks like I'm the first to get here. My impression is that your doctor sounds very reasonable. He's asking for the usual standard-of-care procedures for a woman turning 50. I'm favorably impressed that he is not pushing the mammogram or bisphosphonates for osteoporosis. I think it's amusing that he wants your OB/GYN to "find out if you've been through menopause," as if you hadn't figured that out all by yourself. I don't think HRT is routinely recommended anymore anyway, and if I remember correctly, the Pap smear is no longer recommended because you age out of it.

    The one test that I would support (and I have said this multiple times on other forums) is the colonoscopy. Of course I have an ax to grind because I'm a colon cancer survivor. My then-doctor recommended it when I was about 55, and back then I was not yet in the habit of questioning my doctor's recommendations. What they found was a large malignant tumor that was dangerously close to penetrating the colon wall and metastasizing, although no one could know that until after the surgery. My oncologist never recommended a follow-up of radiation or chemo; the surgery completely removed any threats of recurrence. There was a recommendation for a follow-up colonoscopy, which I acceded to five years later, and which showed me as being completely free of any polyps.

    The colonoscopy itself only takes a few minutes. I guess it's now common to put you out briefly, or at least to give you happy juice to relax you, but I've had several (I'm shortening a much longer story here) and have been awake and unmedicated for all but one because I guess I didn't make it clear that I wanted no anesthesia. The preparation used to be a long and inconvenient procedure, but these days it's much shorter and simpler. The whole thing is really no big deal, and since cancerous polyps can take 20 years or more to grow, there's no hurry for another colonoscopy.

    There are no symptoms of colon cancer. I'm emphasizing that, because you are walking around with a false sense of security. Please think hard about this one, since it's the one test that could save your life.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    The two screening tests that actually help IMHO are a Pap smear and a colonoscopy. I can't do the prep right now due to severe sensitivity to aspartame which is in most colonoscopy preps. If I was up to getting one I probably would drink Magnesium Citrate to clear things out.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    I would do the colonoscopy. I have known too many people (like Islander) who had one and an early cancer was found and easily treated. On the bone density, if you are active, lifting weights, normal weight, there is no reason for it. Even you were at risk, there is a major major problem with it....the results are based on women in their 20s, not on reality and are basically used as a means to push drugs. So, for you, I'd skip it. It is radiation exposure. Not sure if you are aware, but it is vitamin K2 that the bones need. Honestly, for a conventional doc, he sounds pretty reasonable. On the Pap Smear, although they aren't perfect, I think it may be a good idea. They are also now starting to do a test for HPV instead of or along with pap smears. Unfortunately, not all cervical cancer is HPV related so I'm not sure that is a good idea (to replace).

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    @Reesacat: I had to search for an aspartame-free liquid too. What I found was either something called Pedia-lyte, or maybe the store brand of the same solution, that was aspartame-free. They do exist.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Thank you Islander — if I get strong enough to tolerate the chemicals in the facility and am able to handle the procedure I will keep that in mind

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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I asked him if I get a bone scan and it says that there’s an issue with bone density what would be the plan of action.
    What an excellent question! Your doctor sounds better than most.

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    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Thank you all for your responses. My doctor is a DO and I do like him (otherwise I wouldn't go see him). We can actually have a conversation and tend to venture off topic about how clueless most doctors are.

    Islander, I had a endometrial ablation about 5 years ago to stop bleeding (flooding) caused by a fibroid, so I really don't know if I've been through menopause. I do think I have hormonal fluctuations but my cup of care is empty and I just don't pay close enough attention.

    The advice on the colonoscopy makes sense. I'll put that on my to-do list. Do you think eating gluten was a factor in your colon cancer?

    I'll think about the pap smear. My OB/GYN is conventional compared to my DO; however, she was open minded enough for me to talk her into giving me an ablation as opposed to the hysterectomy she originally recommended. (My fibroid was fairly large -- 8 cm -- and she was willing to try a method of ablation that was new to her. She told me "no guarantees but I'm going to try this for you." I was very grateful for that.)

  9. #9
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Highlander, I was told that it my age a Pap smear was no longer necessary, but I think I was 60-65 at that point so perhaps it's a good idea for you. I wonder though, if you have no intention of trying HRT, is it important to know whether or not you have been through menopause?

    About my colon cancer I have no idea. I have eaten mostly local and organic for the last 30+ years. Supposedly it takes a polyp least 20 years to reach that size. I was eating bread and other grains, but I had none of the symptoms associated with gluten intolerance and only found out I was sensitive by accident. I've read both Davis and Perlmutter and neither connects grains with colon cancer. There are many good reasons to go gluten-free, but fear of cancer is not one of them.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Highlander, Islander... if I didn't already have an alias, I would have signed on here as Crashlander

    [QUOTE=About my colon cancer I have no idea. I have eaten mostly local and organic for the last 30+ years. Supposedly it takes a polyp least 20 years to reach that size. I was eating bread and other grains, but I had none of the symptoms associated with gluten intolerance and only found out I was sensitive by accident. I've read both Davis and Perlmutter and neither connects grains with colon cancer. There are many good reasons to go gluten-free, but fear of cancer is not one of them.[/QUOTE]

    I lost my dad to colon cancer and have had polyps removed (on my first screening,) I go every 8-10 years as a precaution, but agree that you need to go at least once after you get to about 40 years old or so, it could save your life.

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    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Quote Originally Posted by Ora Moose View Post
    Highlander, Islander... if I didn't already have an alias, I would have signed on here as Crashlander
    I like that.

  12. #12
    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    There are many good reasons to go gluten-free, but fear of cancer is not one of them.
    I was just wondering because, as I've gotten older, gluten does a number on my digestion.

    Re: HRT. I'm wary of messing with hormones, so I probably would not take them. Maybe, out of the original list, I'll just get a colonoscopy.

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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    I forget what thread I posted the "King of Hearts" but if any of you have watched it, I'd love some feedbaback. If you havent yet, here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGEqDF6ZMyY

    imo best movie of all time

  14. #14
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please give opinions on doc recommended tests

    Ora, I admire people who are bilingual but I am not one of them. I can barely get by in French and am hopeless in German. But even if it were in English, I am too hearing impaired to follow the dialog. I can try to order it via Netflix, which is the only way I watch movies anymore because they all come with subtitles. It does look interesting.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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