Better prevention than cure: the importance of preventive medicine

It has a field of action so broad that it includes the individual from the moment of conception until the final stages of his life. Today, thanks to new technologies at the service of diagnosis and treatment of diseases, it is possible to live better, but it is necessary to be more sensitive to prevention.

Since ancient times, doctors have taken care to “cure” the conditions of our patients. While medicine achieved resounding triumphs in this work, other times the diseases fulfilled their purpose and the patient died or was left with important sequelae. Today, thanks to the methods of diagnosis and treatment, perfected in the last time thanks to the fantastic technological progress, we have one more ally in this fight. However, this does not assure us that once a disease appears it is possible to achieve healing or avoid the consequences.

In the last decades, diverse medical conducts tend to anticipate in the development of the diseases. Through prevention, it has been possible to reduce the mortality rate of many of them. And the Preventive Medicine Services have been formally organized, in order to get even closer to the true meaning of the word health, a situation of physical, mental and social well-being with absence of disease. You can get help for preventive health on Clinic Growth.

Before healing

The ideal of this branch of medical practice is primary prevention that is, preventing the appearance of diseases. This was achieved, for example, with vaccination campaigns. A large number of infections are prevented through routine immunizations that involve children, adolescents, youth and adults. Today we have a broad spectrum of safe and effective vaccines against many infectious diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, chickenpox, influenza, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, pneumonia and even virus infections. HPV, which can cause cancer and genital warts in people of both sexes.

Another key role of primary prevention through which important results are obtained is the promotion of change in habits and social behaviors that generate diseases. There are clear evidences that relate to the consumption of tobacco with a series of tumors and pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, during pregnancy the incidence of premature births, abortions and fetal death increases. Because of its serious health consequences, there are special programs to help smokers get rid of their addiction. In addition to smoking, alcoholism, road injuries, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, high-risk sexual practices and drug addiction pose a complex challenge for primary prevention.

It is essential to show clearly what are the dangers and benefits, and know how to transmit the necessary impulse for change to those who develop activities that involve a risk to health.

Early detection

When it is not possible to prevent the disease from occurring, secondary prevention is aimed at identifying people who are going through early stages of a disease without manifesting symptoms, in order to avoid future complications. This is the case of campaigns against high cholesterol, high blood pressure, breast cancer and infection with the AIDS virus, among others.

Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are risk factors that act jointly, damaging the arteries, so they can promote myocardial infarctions or cerebral thrombosis. They also increase the incidence of heart failure and cerebral hemorrhage. It is demonstrated that the adequate control of cardiovascular risk factors significantly reduces these complications, so it is very important to detect them early, in order to institute an effective therapeutic program that normalizes them. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle and stress also contribute to the development of cardiovascular disorders and should be taken into account in the general evaluation and prevention.

Most cancers can be treated successfully if they are detected in the early stages of their evolution. That is why periodic controls are important, so that a specialized professional analyzes and interprets signs and symptoms, and makes the correct diagnosis.

Prevent progress or reduce deterioration

When diseases have already been declared, tertiary prevention seeks to avoid further deterioration of the person. For example, the prevention of visual complications and gangrene of the foot in diabetics, the treatment of high blood pressure after a cerebral hemorrhage, or the control of cholesterol levels after myocardial infarction.

In order for preventive medicine to be effective and effective, both the doctor and the patient must be convinced that prevention is better than cure. 

Finally, it is necessary to point out that prevention begins with pregnancy, continues in childhood and is applied throughout life, not only to prevent the disease but also to prevent its complications when it has already been established.