There is an old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin that goes “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” What this means is it’s easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened and though this can be applicable to all aspects of life and living – nowhere is this adage more poignant than in one’s heath outcome.
Healthcare and the healthcare industry have attempted to address this by offering the new trajectory of preventive care, The goal is to detect or prevent serious diseases/ medical issues before they can become life threatening or life altering or even life ending.
Prevention activities are grouped in three categories
- Primary prevention: trying to prevent yourself from getting a disease -Examples include immunizations/ vaccinations, altering risky behaviors
- Secondary prevention: trying to detect a disease early and prevent it from getting worse. This is exemplified by screenings (breast cancer – colorectal cancer screening)
- Tertiary prevention: trying to improve your quality of life and reduce the symptoms of a disease you already have through measures such as chemotherapy, rehabilitation,
Is this Preventive Care approach effective? Yes, it is!
According to the CDC, if we look at primary prevention – Laws making workplaces, restaurants, and bars completely smoke-free can reduce heart attack hospitalizations by 8%–17% within a year. For secondary prevention, colorectal cancer screenings have been identified as an efficient way to reduce Colorectal cancer morbidity and mortality, with a large U.S. study noting that an increase in screening adherence of roughly 40% corresponded with a 52% reduction in cancer mortality,”
Prevention is key!