(CARLSBAD, CA) –Just a few decades ago, a woman’s conversation with her doctor was minimal, sometimes conducted entirely via her husband. But, times have changed, right?
Doctors are no longer making house calls, yet female patients and doctors still lack meaningful conversation. That’s why Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests that women write down a list of questions and bring that list to your appointment. At the top of your list, include these five questions.
Will my supplements or herbal remedies interfere with my prescription medication?
Most women don’t even think to tell their doctors that they are taking glucosamine for that nagging knee pain or doubling-up on vitamin C to fight-off the seasonal cold. Yet, supplements can affect the effectiveness of prescription meds. Calcium pills have been known to interfere with thyroid medicine, while other commonplace supplements can hinder the effectiveness of birth control pills. Of course, your doctor may not warn you about possible interactions if you don’t speak up about the supplements you’re taking on a regular basis.
- Is this mole abnormal?
Skin cancer is diagnosed more often in the U.S. than any other type of cancer. When detected early, the suspicious skin spots are easily treated. It only takes a few minutes for your doctor to glance over your skin’s surface area from head-to-toe. But, most doctors will not include this as part of your routine exam, unless you ask.
- What is my cholesterol level?
Only 20 percent of doctors are aware that heart disease kills more women than men every year. In fact, heart disease, the number one killer of women, will claim more female lives than the next five causes of death combined, according to the American Heart Association. Fortunately, coronary disease can be prevented with lifestyle modifications and prescription medications. Find out where you stand by getting a blood test that reveals your cholesterol levels. Ask your doctor to check your total cholesterol level, as well as your HDL “good” cholesterol and your LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.
- When can I schedule a colonoscopy?
Colon cancer is not just a men’s disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that more new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in women than men in 2007. It’s fully treatable, when found early. The best way to detect colon cancer is through a colonoscopy. This procedure lets the doctor inspect the inside of your entire colon for any growths that could become cancerous. A colonoscopy is particularly vital for women over age 50, who are at a greater risk for colon and rectal cancer.
- Should I receive the HPV vaccine?
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is the cause of virtually all cases of cervical cancers. A newly developed vaccine, ideally designed for girls ages 9-26, works if given before you’ve been exposed to HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. But, even if you’ve already been infected with HPV, it may still be beneficial to get the vaccine, since it’s unlikely that you’re infected with all four types of the virus that the vaccine covers.
The next time that you visit your doctor for your annual check-up, remember that your health is in your hands. Speak up! Ask questions! Be persistent! After all, it may be a matter of life and death.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.