Most of us wouldn’t wait until our car breaks down to take it into the auto shop. We take our cars, trucks and motorcycles in for regular preventive maintenance to get the oil changed, rotate the tires and check the filters. Yet, many of us only think to go to the doctor when we feel ill or have otherwise “broken down.” It’s time to start giving your body the preventive maintenance it deserves.
Preventive visits provide a great opportunity for you and your healthcare provider to discuss all your health issues and to be more proactive in your healthcare. It is important to see your doctor for a yearly “well check” or “physical exam” to maintain good health. These visits will also allow you to stay healthy, so that your visits in the future are less about being sick and more about staying well!
We have all heard the expression “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and this is especially true in healthcare. Despite this common sense approach to wellness, millions of Americans choose to decline routine visits, allowing preventable illnesses to cause sickness and even death in thousands of lives. There are a number of common preventive practices that are essential to good health including:
- Immunizations and vaccines to prevent illness
- Mammograms for breast cancer
- Colonoscopies (or at the least stool checks for blood) to screen for colon cancer
- Prostate (PSA) blood screenings for prostate cancer
- DEXA scans (bone mass measurements) for osteoporosis screening
- Pap testing for cervical cancer screening
- Tobacco use counseling
- Depression screens
- Routine physicals with lab work and possible x-rays
Instead of waiting to treat a condition after it is diagnosed, preventive visits and testing focus on preventing diseases and maintaining wellness and good health. If diseases cannot be prevented, preventive care will allow for an early diagnosis and makes the treatment much easier at the early stages of the disease, as opposed to waiting until the disease has progressed. As conditions advance they become harder to treat and can often progress into serious complications.
Don’t gamble with your health! Preventive visits will ensure you and your healthcare providers are informed about your health and will help you to stay happy and healthy. Crozer-Keystone healthcare providers practice prevention and will work closely with you to acquire your needed preventive testing. Stay healthy, stay informed and stay happy!