The goal of preventative health care services is to help maintain good health throughout your life and extend your lifespan. Screening tests and getting a checkup each year are the best ways to do this. Many people will have no problem visiting the doctor when sick, but not so when they are healthy.
The benefits of preventative care services include not having uncomfortable or painful symptoms of chronic disease, the ability to take part and be active in life, prevent large medical bills, increase lifespan, and making the treatment of chronic diseases easier.
Getting important screening tests for chronic disease is one of the best ways to detect them and an important part of preventative health care services. The top five preventable diseases include cancer, heart disease, mental illness, diabetes, and vaccination-preventable diseases.
Cancer: The type of screening done for cancer will depend on the type of cancer your doctor will want to rule out. Catching cancer early can mean there is a better chance of curing it. A mammogram is the best way to test for breast cancer and should be done first at age 45. Yearly exams should then begin at 50. To test for colon cancer, a colonoscopy may be performed. There are two different screenings for prostate cancer. The PSA test will test for an enzyme that is high with this type of cancer. A vaccine can also prevent cervical cancer. It’s the most treatable form of cancer if it is caught early, and a Pap smear should be done every three years until age 65.
Heart Disease: There are a few tests that can determine your heart health. These include blood levels to test for cholesterol, body mass index, and blood pressure. Your BMI and blood pressure should be tested at every checkup. Blood pressure is important because you won’t even have symptoms if it is high. Blood levels should be done every four to six years, or more often if there is an abnormal result.
Mental Illness: There are mental health screenings available since diagnosing and treating mental illness early will create a better outcome. It can also reduce suffering and long-term disability.
Diabetes: Early detection of diabetes can help you control blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of any further problems, such as kidney disease. Screenings should be done every year after age 45.
Vaccination-Preventable Disease: Getting vaccines are important for preventing serious infectious diseases and complications that can come from those diseases. While there is controversy over vaccines, the research shows that they are safe. Herd immunity involves having large populations being vaccinated. Doctors will recommend specific vaccinations from birth to teen years.