Health checks: Advisable before a long trip?
Thursday 15 February 2007
My wife and I are planning a round-the-world trip. Before setting off we want to have a thorough health check, as we will be travelling in remote areas where medical help may not be easily available. A friend has suggested that we begin our trip in America with a whole-body scan. Would it be a sensible precaution?
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
A simple scan that can detect hidden disease sounds amazingly attractive. If the scan is painless, harmless and not too expensive, so much the better. But life is not that simple, and no scanner is able to guarantee that your trip will be illness-free. If you are young and healthy, the chance that a scanner will find something serious is very small indeed. In fact, a scan done on a young healthy person is more likely to cause harm.If you have a CT scan, you are exposing yourself to X-rays. Then there is the problem of what to do if the scan picks up something that requires further investigation. Plenty of us have tiny cysts within the organs of our bodies that we are unaware of. If left alone, they will do no harm. But if the CT scanner spots something small, you will be obliged to have a further test (which may turn out to be an operation) to find out what it is. And it is most likely to turn out to be nothing at all.I think you would be much better off spending money on a good travel-insurance policy that will pay for your medical care and fly you home if you get seriously ill. If you do decide to go ahead, expect to pay $1,000-$2,000 per scan.
Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to firstname.lastname@example.org. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 2 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 3 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 4 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: PHP Deve...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...