Are we really doing preventative care?
One of the polemic issues raised during the recent debate about the health care reform (ACA) was if the new system would promote health and prevent illness.
Unfortunately there has been a misperception about what preventing cancer is. People have come to understand that mammograms and colonoscopies ARE prevention. But screenings are just a way to detect something that is already there, even if incipient
Prevention includes interventions that seek to reduce risks or threats to health.
Ideally, prevention will be integrative and comprehensive.
This means that it will consider the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions
of the patient and that interventions would include not only conventional medicine but the use of alternative and complementary approaches.
There are three categories of prevention:
Promotes health and prevents illness and injuries.
- Proper nutrition, regular physical activity and good management of stress through for example, meditation, counseling, yoga or Reiki
- Visits to the chiropractic physician, the acupuncturist or the ayurveda specialist
- Avoiding exposure to toxic substances, including tobacco, alcohol and chemicals in food, air, water and drugs
- Taking measures at work and at home that decrease risks of injuries
After an illness is diagnosed, or after an accident, secondary prevention aims at halting or slowing the progress of illness. In the case of injuries, the
goal is to limit pain, disability and re-injuring.
- Regular visits to a health care practitioner for people with known risk factors for illness
- Nutritional education that should be tailored to specific needs of the patient
- Energy medicine that contributes to induce deep relaxation to promote health and balance
- Screenings for people who have had cancer surgery and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes
- Rehabilitation through physical therapy, movement therapy, yoga, therapeutic massage and counseling
If unfortunately, a person suffers a long-term health problem (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or chronic pain), tertiary prevention can still prevent further deterioration and optimize quality of life.
- Nutritional education and advice
- Support groups and family therapy
- Cardiac or stroke rehabilitation programs
- Conventional and alternative chronic pain management programs
Read more on Cancer Prevention by clicking here