DEAR ABBY: After her second mammogram in 10 years, my mother-in-law now needs a double mastectomy. An annual mammogram would have caught it early enough to prevent its spread.
Since I have trouble remembering when it has been a year since my last exam, I decided to schedule my annual exam on my birthday. Now I will always remember when it's time for my annual gift to myself -- preventive health care. -- ANNUAL ALISON IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ANNUAL ALISON: That's an excellent suggestion. Associating annual medical exams with a holiday -- like Valentine's Day -- would be another.