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Understanding the Importance of Preventive Care

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Understanding the Importance of Preventive Care

Life gets busy, making it difficult to prioritize our health, especially if we feel healthy on a daily basis. Yet, our health is the most critical aspect of our lives, and even if we feel fine, ensuring we prioritize preventive care in our schedules can help us maintain our health. From regular checkups and health screenings to staying up to date with immunizations, preventive care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves.

What is Preventive Care?

Preventive care refers to measures taken to prevent diseases or injuries rather than curing them or treating their symptoms once they have arisen. Preventive care can take many forms, including routine check-ups, screenings, and immunizations, which help detect potential health issues early, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

Regular health check-ups, also known as physicals, are a cornerstone of preventive care. These visits offer an opportunity to review your overall health, identify any changes, and evaluate your risk for certain medical conditions based on your family history, lifestyle, and personal health history.

Physicals allow you to track your progress over time, allowing your healthcare provider to view changes in your health and catch anything that may need to be tested or checked.

Routine check-ups also provide a chance to establish a relationship with your healthcare provider. Asking personal questions can be scary, especially with a medical practitioner you don’t feel comfortable with. When you see your healthcare provider regularly, it can make it easier for you to ask questions and discuss any health concerns you may have.

Screenings Save Lives

Screenings are tests that detect diseases that you may not be exhibiting any symptoms for. They are crucial in identifying health issues early when they are often easier to manage or treat. Some common screenings include blood pressure tests, cholesterol checks, mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, and skin checks for skin cancer.

Early detection through screenings can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment and survival. For example, the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with localized breast cancer is 99%, compared to 30% for those diagnosed with distant-stage disease.

Immunizations as Defense

Immunizations protect us from serious diseases and prevent their spread within the community by preparing the body's immune system to fight off specific infections. Even though they are normally associated with children getting necessary vaccinations, such as polio or chicken pox, it’s important for anyone of any age to stay up to date.

For example, receiving a flu vaccine each year can help prevent illnesses and hospitalizations and protect those around you. Immunization can reduce the severity of the illness if you are to get it.

The Benefits of Early Detection

Preventive care plays a vital role in maintaining good health. By identifying medical issues during routine visits, these problems can be addressed before they escalate into more severe conditions. Early detection can lead to more effective treatment, better management of chronic diseases, and improved health outcomes.

Not to mention that preventive care can cut costs for yourself and the economy. According to the CDC, chronic diseases and mental healthcare services account for 90% of all healthcare spending, with chronic diseases able to be treated early through preventive care. If you catch chronic diseases early, it can save you money by avoiding costly treatments, helping to reduce the financial burden overall.

Schedule a Screening or Regular Check Up Today

Preventive care is vital for us to remain healthy and continue to enjoy all the aspects of our lives we do every day. Antelope Valley Medical Center is a full-service hospital in Antelope Valley bringing you the care you need to keep you cared for and healthy. Preventative care starts with you; follow-up with your primary care physician for a routine check-up.

Find a doctor today, or contact us to get started.