Modern life is busy. Many people don’t take the time to look after their health, especially when it comes to prevention. They don’t realize that in the long-run, simple preventative steps can often reduce the need for costly surgeries and medication and improve quality of life. What are some easy steps that fall by the wayside?
Skin Cancer Screenings
All of those afternoons spent by the pool eventually add up, sometimes resulting in skin cancer. Those who are at risk include people with fair skin or who spend a lot of time outdoors. In the U.S. each year, about 8,000 people die from skin cancer; however, many times that number are successfully treated, thanks in part to early detection.
Annual screenings are the best way to detect cancer. When found early, the cancer is eliminated through a simple out-patient procedure with minimal recovery-time. If left undiscovered or untreated, the cancer can spread and become more difficult and painful to treat. Ultimately, the cancer could become life-threatening and require serious intervention, including chemotherapy and/or radiation.
The importance of dental hygiene in terms of maintaining overall good health cannot be overstated. Gum disease (gingivitis) is strongly associated with the development of heart disease and links are being discovered even now between gum disease and dementia. While a good home regimen of brushing and flossing help, seeing a dentist regularly is a key element for the prevention of gum disease and other oral health conditions, including throat and mouth cancers.
For young adults, those conditions seem far in the future, but even now dental checkups can help prevent many conditions, including cavities, gum inflammation, and impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom tooth removal is often necessary to prevent the teeth from becoming impacted, a painful condition that may require emergency dental surgery. Removing the wisdom teeth prior to impaction can save considerable pain and cost and shorten recovery time.
Worldwide about 285 million people have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Often, the disorder presents symptoms that go unrecognized or ignored, despite the seriousness of the condition. In fact, many diabetics are only diagnosed when the symptoms, including vision loss and nerve pain, become too difficult to ignore.
Screenings are quick and require a minimal blood sample, used to perform either a blood-glucose or A1c test, both of which detect high blood-sugar levels. If detected early, complications can be prevented through a combination of diet, exercise and medication. Later interventions generally involve the use of injected insulin and other measures, including surgery, amputation and physical therapy.
Overall, it makes sense to stay healthy, even if prevention requires time and effort. These three areas are among those too-often ignored by many people. Don’t be one of them!