“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” says the quotation in its entirety. This is a quote you may not be familiar with. The great Ben Franklin coined this phrase in 1736, but it is still relevant today for a variety of reasons.
Improved information, protection, and hopefully, better outcomes can be achieved by focusing on prevention. Self-care and excellent health habits need time and effort.
Why, therefore, do so many of us postpone those crucial screenings? We’re all in overload mode in our daily lives, from work to school to home. We can’t possibly fit anything else into our already overstretched and exhausted lives.
According to Columbia University-Irving Medical Center, the age group 18-39 miss their preventative care appointments most often due to work-life. But that ounce of prevention will be key to keeping you on the right path for better overall health.
Who leads the path forward?
A leader in Women’s Health, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) remain committed to improving the lives of women of all ages with the finest quality primary and preventive care possible. The WPSI (Women’s Preventative Services Initiative) chart depicts the steps that women should follow to maintain their health throughout their lives.
How often do you need screenings? You may need some tests once a year. You may need other tests more or less often, so talk with your physician first for clinical guidance.
Why health screenings?
The website Lifeline, notes that health screenings are tests used to detect diseases before symptoms develop. Because some disorders have few warning signs, screening tests can help your doctor spot any potential health problems.
Individuals, women, and children can access a complete range of health screening resources thanks to Healthcare.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including information for pregnant and post-partum women. Health screenings are specific to each person and are based on:
- General Health
- Hereditary factors
- Pre-existing conditions
These tests can help you be proactive in preventing, postponing, or alleviating a condition that has little or no warning signs if you are at high risk.
What are common screenings?
- High blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Breast cancer and cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Pap smear tests
- Heart disease
- Carotid artery disease
- STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
- Mental health conditions, depression
What can you do?
Start by talking with your OB-GYN about screening recommendations. Although there are many age-specific screenings for women, it’s important to make those well-woman visits with your doctor.
Before your preventive health visit, take a few moments to complete the following:
- Gather your medical history by talking with family members to see if any diseases run in your family.
- Make a list of questions ahead of time to discuss with your doctor.
- When meeting with your provider, share any current health concerns.
- Ask about risks or benefits from screenings.
Remember you can take control of your health and prevention is a positive step that can lead to a better and healthier life.
The information on this site is intended to raise awareness, and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis, or a substitute for health care by your physician.