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 email@example.com. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.
Life & Style blogs
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
iPhone 'Wave': iOS 8 hoax claims you can charge your iPhone in the microwave - you can't
London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015: Distraction could not disguise a distinct lack of focus
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
iOS 8 HealthKit catches a major bug, forcing Apple's fitness apps to lie down and take it easy
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Britain First picture: Photographer 'horrified' after first Afghan policewoman killed by Taliban used for 'ban the burka' campaign
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Science Teachers needed for s...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teachers with QTS nee...
£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently looking to ...