Practicing medicine is an inexact science.
The body is a complex machine with nuanced capabilities and shortcomings. It is not a simple algorithm where X+Y=Z. Factors like lifestyle, diet, environmental considerations, and family history all add their own flavour on how a person will react to any illness.
That means doctors are not only asked to practice “textbook science,” but they must also rely heavily on instinct, experience, and probabilities.
That means medical practitioners are rarely 100% sure of anything since there are so many variables at play. Which is why seeing the doctor can be such a frustrating experience. They need to run blood tests, take biopsies, and book appointments with specialists before they can confirm a diagnosis.
And while we wait to hear back from the blood tests, biopsies, and specialists, our minds start playing tricks on us.
You will be sitting all alone watching re-runs of Seinfeld or cooking dinner, and suddenly your mind takes a left turn and decides to map out the worst possible outcomes of your condition. You rationalize to yourself that you want to be ready, but the impending doom sits above your head like a dark cloud. Then, you start blaming yourself, “why didn’t I go see my doctor sooner?”
This process can be intimidating and stressful.
The unfortunate truth is that people take too long to see their doctors about issues that have been lingering for years. We all have our own reasons, such as denial or high pain thresholds, but whatever they may be, “waiting-it-out” usually makes things worse. And doctors will tell you it is always preferrable to book an appointment at the first sign is concern.
One reason is the premise behind this article. I call it the “The Volcano Effect” – when you see the volcano boiling, it might be too late to avert disaster.
The other reason is one that comes from compassion. Sometimes, a debilitating condition can be easily managed. Meaning that the patient has tolerated undue pain and aggravation for far too long, not unlike finding out your elderly parents have been paying way too much their telco bill, and you tell them “Why didn’t you come to me first? I could have saved hundreds of dollars.”
Doctors are the same way. They hate it when their patients suffer through undue pain. Which is why doctors promote early screening.
Screening, unlike diagnosing, is all about placing a seismograph near the volcano and checking for signs of danger. The difference now is that YOU are taking control of your body. You are being proactive. You are in charge of the pace. You have options. And there is a general sense of relief that you (potentially) got in front of something that could drastically change your life.
There is just one problem.
Screening is time consuming and a pain in the rear-end. You have to book several appointments in different parts of the city; plan for a babysitter; make arrangements with your work; make arrangements for transportation; and sometimes even make arrangements for lodging! And this medical gauntlet is the reason so many people play the lottery with their health.
It is sad to realize that preventative medicine is often curtailed due to it being too much of a hassle.
At GetSkinHelp we want to change that by revolutionizing Ontario’s antiquated healthcare system and become a catalyst for proactive medicine.
And for us it begins with skin cancer screening. The GetSkinHelp gateway allows Ontarians to access board certified physicians right on their phones and schedule virtual appointments within days. And it is all covered by OHIP.
This company was co-founded by a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon who has spent decades performing skin cancer surgeries and a technologist who had his own skin cancer scare. They made sure their company would be driven by the compassion that comes from two individuals who have experienced the anxiety, helplessness, trauma, hassle, and bureaucratic maze that comes from being diagnosed with skin cancer.
Take ten minutes now and Get Started with your own skin cancer screening or help a loved-one get theirs. Your health and wellbeing are worth at least that much.