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          Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, Explains how to Make Your Health a Priority

          December 19, 2013

          There are many reasons why people avoid medical appointments and checkups, and every case is different. It might be a busy schedule, work or family obligations, insurance or financial concerns or just plan fear — especially when we might be faced with “big” health issues. Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, explains that there are three reasons people get scared about health issues:

          • 1. You’ve seen someone you care about suffer from a serious health problem.
          • 2. You’ve been through a health scare yourself.
          • 3. You have symptoms or risk factors and are afraid to get checked out.

          Whatever your reasons may be, waiting to see your doctor can be a risky thing to do. It’s important to think about health issues you may have or what runs in your family, take stock of your symptoms and be honest with yourself so you recognize when you shouldn’t wait.

          The one thing that leads to a better outcome for almost any health condition is early detection. The earlier you detect cancer — and many other illnesses, the better chance you have of fighting it. The American Cancer Society and other organizations have guidelines for early detection. If you have a history of cancer in your family, don’t put off going to the doctor! And, if the doctor tells you to follow up, listen.

          If you have financial reasons for putting off health appointments, consider walk-in clinics, health fairs or check whether you qualify for Medicaid, as many states are expanding coverage soon.

          For more information on prioritizing your health or other health issues, visit

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