Medical Check-Ups Important After Katrina

Katrina has turned so many peoples lives upside down, it's hard to keep up with everything that needs to get done. One thing you may have put on hold while your dealing with the crisis is your health. For many people annual checkups and tests have gone by the wayside. But if you don't make time for them you could be setting yourself up for a crisis of another kind.

Radiologist Bill Henry from Compass Imaging in Gulfport says he knows "the storm disrupted everyone's normal routines." Those normal routines often include an annual mammogram. Dr. Henry says no matter what type of test you're due.....timing is critical. He says, "We do need to remember to catch up if we can. We've had plenty of people coming in a month or two months late. Late is better than skipping the whole year." He says the more time that lapses......the less chance for early detection. "We had a case when a woman skipped an entire year and her cancer showed up during that time mammographically." Something else to keep in mind....if you have old films that were damaged, talk to your doctor before throwing them away. "Before someone assumed they were destroyed I would like to look at them and see if they can be saved." Henry says.

And if you need a checkup or test before the end of the year, you'd better schedule it soon. Dr. Henry says, "People put them off because of the storm, and now the end of the year is coming with people trying to beat insurance deadlines. Usually there is a rush the end of the year in December, so the earlier the better."