Why you should see your doctor…

Last week, I decided to go see my doctor for my annual physical. Well, it’s annual now. My 25 year-old checkup, so to say, but I will go in every year from now on for a physical.

I’m healthy as a horse, as suspected, but my doctor did refer me to a dermatologist to get some moles checked out. I’ve always had moles on my skin, but early detection is obviously key when it comes to skin cancers like melanoma.

Today was my appointment with the dermatologist, where she performed a shave biopsy on a mole on my abdomen. The mole was small, perhaps 3 or 4 millimeters in diameter. Shave biopsies are the ‘least invasive’ skin biopsy procedure, and typically are performed when melanoma risk is very low, but I still have to wait two weeks to get the pathology report back.

In any case, I’ll probably be going to the dermatologist for an annual skin exam from now on. And in addition, will need to exercise caution with sun exposure from 10 AM to 4pm, lather on the sunscreen when outside, and try and keep my body covered up when possible outside.

But, I think this just highlights the need to keep in close contact with a personal physician. Physicals can be both preventive and medical in nature. Your doctor can go over ways to stay healthy, and, perhaps more importantly, catch issues early, which in turn increases the likelihood of recovery and decreases the possibility of further health issues.

I’ve always kept track of my moles, but thanks to my physician, I was able to be referred to a specialist and, hopeful, stop a deadly disease before it had the chance to affect me.

It’s once a year. Find the time. See your doctor.

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