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Many of the diseases and conditions that put the lives of people at risk can be prevented, or at the very least mitigated, when the right measures are taken. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) preventive care is used considerably less than recommended. In fact, these services are used at half the rate that’s been recommended.

Cancer Screenings

Most women are encouraged to get regular PAP tests and mammograms to check for certain cancers. Another preventive care screening is the colonoscopy. For men and women this screening checks for polyps in the colon and rectum which could indicate colorectal cancer. When discovered early enough the polyps can be removed before they have the opportunity to turn cancerous or if they are in the early stages of cancer.

Men should also be screened for prostate cancer. This is one of the top 3 most common cancers to affect men. There are different tests to screen for prostate cancer and your doctor will advise you on which one is the best for you.

Smokers need to be screened for lung cancer. This is one of the major cancers affecting men, however women who smoke should be screened as well. The testing is fairly simple. X-rays are used to take pictures of the chest area. Some people may need to have annual scans.

Vaccinations

There has been much debate about vaccinations. Are they effective or not? Are they worth the risks? You can have a conversation with your doctor about the efficacy of specific vaccines. The CDC recommends that all adults have a seasonal flu shot. This becomes especially important for those with certain health issues as well as elderly people and pregnant women. Each year the flu seems to be hardest on young children and the elderly.

Another important vaccine is the tetanus, diphtheria shot. Given every ten years this vaccine prevents whooping cough and the bacterial infection caused by tetanus. Perhaps you’ve heard of lockjaw. The tetanus bacterium causes painful muscle spasms which can lead to death.

Preventative Care in the Doctor’s Office

Getting your annual physical so you can be screened for heart problems, diabetes and hypertension is vital. If you are diagnosed with any of these conditions following your doctor’s orders is critical. If it so happens that you need to be placed on medication in order to prevent a stroke or heart attack you need to make taking the medicine a priority.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

It’s been said time and again that eating right, i.e. eating healthy foods, getting plenty of rest and proper exercise will keep you in good shape and add years to your life. This is probably one of the most important methods of preventive care that can have a major impact on your life. Consider the alternative and you end up with obesity and all the attendant health problems.

These few tips for preventive care can keep you healthier and cause you to be less likely to wind up in an emergency room or waiting to hear if the result of a biopsy is good or bad. A little prevention on the front end of your life can add years on the back end.

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