A prevailing theme in my life has been medical anxiety—the kind that gets exponentially worse during times of stress.
In the middle of finals during my senior year of college, I drove to an urgent care during a tornado warning because I was convinced I had meningitis. Another time, I would have bet money that my headaches were a brain tumor, so I demanded an MRI. (They were not.)
So when Prenuvo offered some members of the Poosh team to try out their full-body preventative scan, I was ecstatic. Prenuvo scans the entire body (33 organs) in one breezy hour with zero radiation or contrast agents.
With any medical condition, it’s important to catch it as early as possible. Since Prenuvo is a preventative scan, it’s able to show minor findings that may or may not cause you issues down the line (see: me and the cysts on my ovaries) or tumors that could be cancerous. Prenuvo’s senior director of business development, Alina Ioani, told me that the vast majority of the cancers they find are still in the first stage.
Four of us at Poosh got the scan. In addition to myself, Sarah Howard, Sam Hyatt, and Liz Muller tried it out. All of us were interested in getting more insight into our health and finding out if there are any changes we should be making in our lifestyles.
“I wanted to get a general baseline on my health, so that I can use this report moving forward to compare with future reports as I continue to age,” says Sam.
We all noticed how comforting the office was. Everyone from the receptionists to the MRI technician was super friendly and accommodating. I accidentally forgot to take my bra off during the scan, and when my technician noticed, he very kindly let me go back to my room to change out of it and start over.
While you’re doing the scan, they put a little mirror above your head, so you can watch a TV that’s set behind you. Sarah opted for Gilmore Girls for “some feel-good distraction,” while Liz chose Ginny & Georgia. Both Sam and I ended up falling asleep, but she had every intention of watching Beckham. I made it about a third of the way through Nate Bargatze: The Tennessee Kid. Our falling asleep is no reflection on the quality of these programs. The setting just really made for a good nap.
The machine they use is a little larger than the usual MRI machine, but it’s still natural to feel some anxiousness. As Liz noted, the staff goes out of their way to make sure you feel comfortable.
“I’m really claustrophobic, so I was a little bit nervous for the scan. They prescribed something to help me relax, which definitely helped a lot,” she said. “The staff at the Prenuvo clinic was incredibly welcoming and hospitable. They explain everything really thoroughly and do their absolute best to make sure you are comfortable. Since I had taken medication, my fiancé came with me to the scan to drive me home, and they even set him up in a private room with snacks while he waited.”
The scan itself zooms by. They have you do a couple series of deep breaths, but other than that, you just lay there and watch Netflix. Since I fell asleep, I came out of the machine asking, “Wait, is it over?”
It takes around five business days to get your results back. As someone who’s pretty familiar with getting medical test results, I was shocked at how easy these were to read. I’m used to looking at my paperwork, googling what everything means, and still struggling to understand what exactly it’s trying to tell me.
You’re able to look at your results on the app or on your computer through your individual patient portal. Not only did my Prenuvo results highlight where any findings were (with animated visuals showing me where everything was), but it defined any complex terms, noted if something was benign, and told me what I should look out for during future doctor visits. They also schedule a follow-up call with a practitioner to make sure you fully understand your results.
“There definitely were a few minor findings which were good reminders of ways in which I can better take care of myself,” says Liz. “For instance, I’ve had neck and back pain for two years and haven’t done anything about it. My scan showed issues in those areas, which, if left alone, would definitely progress into something worse down the road. Overall, the scan gave me peace of mind, but it reminded me that there are areas I have been neglecting and that I should get more regular checkups.”
For Sarah, getting her results was “a sigh of relief.”
“The results came back fairly quickly, and everything looked great, so I’m really happy I did it,” says Sarah. “It gives me peace of mind, since I’m someone who my doctor would definitely call a hypochondriac. The idea that it would detect something at such an early stage is really advantageous. You feel like you’ve had this whole-body checkup in 55 minutes, which is great.”
Sarah also said she often wonders what’s going on with her breast implants, since she’s had them in for such a long time. She was happy to see her results showed them healthy and intact. “My longest relationship,” as she says, is still going strong.
The ultimate goal of Prenuvo is to make late-stage cancers a thing of the past. Currently, one scan costs $2,500. All of that money goes back into the business, so Prenuvo can collect more data and improve its technology to show insurance companies this is a life-saving scan. (One in 20 people who do it receive an early detection finding that can save their life.) As Ioani told me, this takes time. Although getting an annual mammogram is encouraged today, insurance companies didn’t start covering it until the late ‘80s. In time, she hopes that getting your full-body scan will be as commonplace as getting your yearly physical.
And if you’ve made it this far, Prenuvo is offering $300 off a whole-body scan across all of its U.S. locations for all the Pooshies. Get your discount here or use “Poosh” if you book over the phone.
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