Do we really want to know?

By -- Dennis Fitzgerald—— Bio and Archives--February 5, 2018

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There have been a number of articles recently relating to medical testing. The positive is the development of memory test to help indicate Alzheimer’s years earlier whereas the negative is the reluctance of men to have prostate cancer testing. However the question that many ask is do we want to know?

One of the initial concerns is that people may have to report their medical conditions to employers or medical insurers. In many countries female job applicants cannot be asked if they are pregnant or intend to start a family soon but if they have ‘genetic tests’ to look for possible disease indicators they often have to report these results.

For me, my family history of prostrate cancer for my father and grandfather prompted testing in my 40s - earlier than most would start and by my 50s it showed up. My discomfort with the manual test and a dislike of needles had to be put aside. After a radiation treatment all is well and I don’t glow in the dark as I jest.

The test for Alzheimer’s is more confronting and I am not so sure if I want to undertake this test yet. The testing and side effects of prostrate treatments can be a bit deflating but knowing you were going to get Alzheimer’s would terrify me as in many cases who you are and what you have done fades away and as of yet there are few treatments that help.

Really we do need to know what is happening and check for issues that family histories predict as possibilities and worried as we are we have to check for the more concerning possibilities if we can.

Be brave and help yourself and your family.


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Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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