One of author and humorist Mark Twain’s most famous quotes is, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” You could say the same thing about the difference between medical care that’s exactly right and medical care that’s almost right. When it comes to your health, the seemingly little things can turn out to be really big things. A diagnosis that’s close but not quite there can do a surprising amount of damage, as it can lead to lead to all sorts of complicated and unintended consequences.
Cancer is a disease that strikes fear into the heart of millions, and for good reason. Cancer survival rates have improved dramatically in recent years, but so much depends on what kind of cancer you have, as well as the stage at which it’s first detected. Stage I cancer is always the “best” kind of cancer, insofar as there is a “best” kind of cancer.
It’s so easy to get scared even before you go to the doctor. Anyone who has ever researched symptoms like “headaches” or “fatigue” has probably gotten back results from a search engine that suggest cancer. According to the Internet, just about anything is a sign of cancer. That’s why it’s so important to see a medical professional before you work yourself into a full-on frenzy. Typical cancer treatments include things like radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, but your options are highly dependent on your particular case. If you have breast cancer, you need to find a hospital with a good record of providing quality care to breast cancer patients. Do your research and feel free to ask a lot of questions along the way. A few Internet searches can make you feel like everyone has cancer and we’re all going to die from it. That doesn’t match the reality of what doctors and medical professionals are seeing.
Every day in America, people die because they didn’t get medical treatment quickly enough, or if they did, they didn’t get the best kind of treatment. America likes to think of itself as compassionate, but we still lose way too many people to conditions that are very treatable.
“How will I pay for it?” is a concern even when you aren’t facing a life-threatening condition. Take the field of periodontics. Periodontal disease is more commonly known as gum disease, and it can really mess up your overall health if it’s left untreated. If someone is already too poor to afford regular visits to the dentist, he or she is not going to be excited to hear that he or she needs to see a periodontist. That could mean spending more money the patient simply doesn’t have to spare. While overall health insurance rates have improved in recent years, dental insurance is too often a hit-or-miss proposition. If you’re in such a situation, try to find a specialist who will work with you on a payment plan. Low-income clinics are another option for those in need. It may be more of a hassle to find preventative care on a budget, but when it comes to your health, it’s always better to act early rather than late.