9 Preventive health exams you can skip! – PART I
Preventive health exams can eat up a mighty chunk of your savings. The question is whether all these exams are necessary at all. Your Annual Physical is your yearly ritual that lets you know where your health status stands. While this is important, based on your health condition, some of these can be skipped.
The key reason being that sometimes these unwanted tests can throw up false positives. The result would be a great deal of unwanted anxiety and a string of unnecessary and potentially harmful medical procedures such as biopsies and often costly tests. The Institute of Medicine says that excessive testing and the overtreatment it often leads to, costs the U.S. health system some $210 billion annually.
Should you get a chest X-ray?
Annually chest x-rays are not necessary unless you have specific heart and lung symptoms that need to be checked. The test comes with some exposure to radiation, so it’s better skipped unless it’s really needed. Some doctors don’t even advocate this as a screening test for smokers. The reason being that when people are asymptomatic, this is not an effective test as it’s neither sensitive nor specific.
Urinalysis is not routinely required for everyone. Unless you suffer from Diabetes or renal disease, this can be skipped. Since the Annual Physical includes a blood test, any diseases can be detected from this test itself.
The greatest concern for doctors though is that routine urinalysis can trigger false alarms of cancer. This is because even small quantities of blood in the urine may be interpreted as an early warning of bladder or kidney cancer. However, the cause for this could also be attributed to many other common ailments such as Kidney Stones or an Enlarged Prostate. Ruling out cancer may require invasive testing which could be totally unwarranted.