Four years ago, I had four weeks of daily radiation following breast cancer surgery. The doctor who oversaw the treatment recommends five years of annual follow-up appointments, and I had my fourth with him last week.
We chatted a bit and then he examined me, looking for any signs of change since last year. When he was finished, he sat with me for a while. I told him that he had spent more time with his hands on my body than any other doctor since I saw him a year ago. I told him that my Medicare “wellness” annual visit was a conversation with a nurse practitioner about my current medications and a blood pressure check. I reminded him that four years ago, in a thorough exam with my primary care physician, her concern about a change in my breast resulted in an earlier-than-previously scheduled mammogram revealing a very early-stage cancer.
Now, it would be a different outcome.