Preventive health care begins when you are born and continues until the end of life. Newborns are screened for metabolic illness (PKU) and hypothyroidism. The elderly are screened for osteoporosis and protected from falls.
The majority of allopathic preventive care is actually early detection of an illness before it causes serious consequences. The recommendations are based on statistics from studies of large groups over a long period of time. The recommendations are based on statistics.
It is important to understand the concept of false-positive and false-negative tests, an unavoidable consequence of all medical test interpretation. A true-postive test detects the illness, and a true-negative excludes it. A false-positive test occurs when the test is positive and the illness is not present. This results is additional testing that is more expensive and often invasive. For example, an elevated PSA test triggers a biopsy that does not find cancer. A false-negative test means that the illness is present but is not detected. The practice of medicine is never simple.
Vaccination is true preventive health care. The vaccine trains our immune system how to respond to an infection before we are exposed. During my twenty-five years of practice I have never diagnosed a case of measles, polio, or tetanus, and I have seen only one case of mumps. The protocols continue to evolve and are age specific. Recent additions include pneumococcal vaccine in children and HPV vaccine in teenagers.
The following is a partial list of common screening programs:
- Childhood growth and development; height and weight charts
- Tuberculosis (PPD) skin testing
- Sports physicals
- Dental exams and cleaning
- Pap smears — cervical cancer
- Mamography — breast cancer
- Colonoscopy — colon cancer
- PSA – prostate cancer
- Blood pressure
Do you have and are you following you personal health care program?