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How Delaying Medical Care Affects Your Health

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  • Written By: Antelope Valley Medical Center
How Delaying Medical Care Affects Your Health

Protecting Your Health Through Regular Medical Care

When you delay medical care, you are essentially gambling with your health. Sure, sometimes delaying treatment or seeing a doctor isn’t a big deal and everything turns out fine. But other times, delaying care can lead to much worse health conditions – some of which could be life-threatening.

Though you may have a busy schedule or a fear of going to the doctor, keep reading to learn why it’s vital to receive medical care regularly and avoid delaying treatments.

Worsening Your Condition

Leaving your medical condition to go untreated will only make the issue grow over time. This means that reversing the effects of the disease and managing your health may become more difficult. Additionally, as your condition advances, it can be harder to treat. For some severe diseases such as cancer, this can lead to life-threatening circumstances.

There are a number of common conditions that can worsen if not treated in a timely manner:


When it comes to cancer, the sooner you catch it, the better. The earlier you detect cancer, the more likely it is to be treatable. If you wait too long, cancer may spread and become much more difficult – or even impossible – to treat.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is another condition that is best caught early. When you delay treatment for heart disease, the condition can worsen and lead to heart attacks or strokes.


Infections, such as those of the respiratory system, urinary tract, or skin, can all become much more severe if not treated promptly. In some cases, delaying treatment can even lead to death.

Mental Health Conditions

Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can also worsen if not treated in a timely manner. Delaying treatment can lead to suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and a decline in overall mental and emotional well-being.

Orthopedic Issues

Orthopedic problems involve our joints, bones, and muscles — all of which are constantly in use. The more you use them while they're injured, the more wear and tear you’ll inflict — and the worse the damage will get.

Some of the most common chronic orthopedic conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis

Prolonging Your Hospital Stay

What begins as a seemingly small health issue like high cholesterol can turn into a severe health condition if left untreated. The longer you wait to seek treatment or a way to manage your health, the more likely it is that you'll need surgery or other expensive procedures.

The beginning stages of any health issue often require more conservative, non-invasive options. But as your condition progresses and becomes degenerative, chronic, or severe, surgical intervention may be your last resort. This is why it's important to seek care as soon as you notice any changes in your health.

Increasing Your Bill

When you delay medical care, you may end up costing yourself more money in the long run. Your condition may worsen, and you may need more extensive – and expensive – treatment as a result. Additionally, your insurance may not cover the cost of treatment if you delay seeking care. So not only will delaying medical care cost you more money, but it could also put your health at risk.

When to See Your Doctor

There are also a number of regular screenings that you should get in order to catch any potential health problems early. These include:

You should always consult with your doctor to learn what scans are more important for you depending on age and risk factors. For example, death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1989, with more significant decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are thought to result from treatment advances, earlier detection, and increased awareness.

Elective & Preventative Surgical Options

Elective surgeries range from hip replacement to bariatric surgery. In the Antelope Valley, 30% of adults are obese, and 37% are considered overweight—higher than all of Los Angeles County. If you've been thinking about trying weight loss surgery, this is also an excellent time to talk to your doctor about your options and if you're an ideal candidate.

Preventative surgery is designed to remove organs or tissue that may be at risk for developing cancer or other diseases. Though preventative robotic surgery is not 100 percent guaranteed, it can be an effective way to reduce your risk of developing a serious health condition, including:

  • Urology: robotics is increasingly being used to remove tumors on a patient’s kidney as well as parts of the prostate gland before cancer has a chance to spread.
  • Hysterectomy: a surgery to remove the uterus. This procedure is often recommended for women with a high risk of developing uterine cancer.
  • Gastrectomy: a surgery to remove part or all of the stomach. This procedure is often recommended for people at risk of developing stomach cancer.

Lancaster, CA Health Screenings

Bottom line: Don’t delay medical care. It could be the difference between life and death. If you have any concerns about your health, make an appointment with your doctor right away. And be sure to get regular screenings as recommended by your doctor in order to catch any potential problems early.

Antelope Valley Medical Center is proud to deliver exceptional specialty medical care to the community we serve to help you take proactive care of your health. Call 661-949-5000 or visit our dedicated services page for more information about the offerings at AVMC.