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Here are the top 5 doctor visits you should prioritize in 2021

Posted at 3:59 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 18:35:33-04

(WXYZ) — The Rebound Detroit is our commitment to help you bounce back amidst these trying times. Tonight we're looking at rebounding your health.

One of the hidden tragedies of the pandemic is the degree to which people have put off doctors' visits, potentially failing to detect serious conditions and making your health worse.

We’re taking a look at the top five visits one local health professional says you can no longer afford to avoid.

“I needed dental surgery. A couple extractions. I’m supposed to have two to three MRI’s a year,” said KeMira Hurt from Wayne, Michigan.

When the pandemic hit, Hurts once full calendar of procedures and health exam was wiped clean.

“I had to, you know, put off scheduling a mammogram,” said Hurt.

KeMira says she stayed away - mostly to allow health professionals to cope with the changes.

The lack of care for nearly a year, whether by force or by choice, is now ringing major alarms for doctors nationwide.

“We’re noticing hesitation that people don’t want to come in the office,” said Dr. Parag Patel from Beaumont Family Medicine.

“The impact could be worsened health and, oftentimes, when we’re treating something, it matters when we catch that problem,” explains Dr. Patel.

Not catching the problem is a growing problem. A recent national study showing screenings for breast cancer were down 85 % last spring, with screenings for colon cancer and lung cancer, down 75 and 74 % respectively.

Dr. Parag Patel, a Beaumont Family Medicine Doctor, says that's why routine screenings top the list of exams you need to get on your calendar.

“Colonoscopy, for colon cancer screening,” said Dr. Patel. “For females, pap smear, pelvic exams, ovarian cancer screening.”

If you’ve dodged your annual physical, now is the time to get it booked. It’s a critical check on your heart, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

In the meantime, your kids need their routine checks.

“Making sure that they’re growing appropriately, making sure we’re not finding any issues," said Patel.

Or missing critical children vaccines can create problems down the line. So, a pediatric visit should be on the calendar.

If like KeMira you’re overdue to see the dentist,

“My teeth can’t wait any longer,” said Hurt.

Then that’s your number four priority- with poor oral care potentially leading to cardiovascular issues and diabetes.

But along with checks on your physical health?

“Feeling either significant anxiety or severe anxiety or severe depression,” are priorities said Dr. Patel.

He says if you need to check your mental health, a visit to address any undue stress is an appointment “must do!”

I also asked the doctor for his response to those who are still hesitant to do in-person visits. He says you should feel better knowing most health care professionals have been vaccinated.

Also, all incoming patients are getting screened for symptoms. So, get to booking your necessary appointments.

Top 5 doctor visits not to delay any longer

  1. Cancer screenings
  2. Annual Physical
  3. Pediatric visits for your kids
  4. Dental Care
  5. Mental Health