I have been having a heated discussion with my grown daughter about my refusal to have a routine mammogram and as a result, she has accused me of being a poor role model to her and her brother. This has left me thinking about what message I want to give my kids about how to make informed decisions about their healthcare.
How this all started was when my daughter posted a comment on her Facebook account saying how cross she is with me because I will not have routine breast mammogram. She has seen one of my best friends die of breast cancer so she feels I am really stupid for not engaging with a screening process that she feels will reduce my chances of dying of breast cancer.
But I have made the decision not to have routine mammograms at this stage because I am not convinced about the validity of routine testing, and I am very concerned about the risk of false positives and the effects of being over-treated. I am low risk of breast cancer and have taken on board what the latest Cochrane review has said about routine mammograms.
My daughter feels I am a poor role model because I have refused a screening program... I am giving her the message that it is OK to ignore tests that have the potential to improve one's health.
What I want to model is how to question healthcare practice and make informed choices about my care. But I do not know if I am doing a very good job of that.
How do you talk about the issues of healthcare and screening to your children? What sort of role model are you? Do you encourage your children to ask critical questions about healthcare practice?
Image: 'I DID NOT TAKE THIS PICTURE'