Preventative healthcare is concerned with the prevention of illness, the early detection of specific disease and the promotion and maintenance of better health.
Maintaining and improving your health with a healthier lifestyle can significantly lessen the likelihood of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many of the risk factors associated with disease are modifiable, meaning you have some control. For example, the following risk factors can be diminished with specific lifestyle and behavior changes:
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- Psychosocial issues (depression, anxiety and stress)
- High blood cholesterol
- Low fruit and vegetable consumption
Cancer Australia has the following recommendation for adults to reduce risk of cancer and stay healthy:
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep active
- Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Protect yourself from the sun
- Protect against infection
Preventive healthcare is beneficial for people of all ages.
In older patients it is often focused on immunisation, physical activity, urinary incontinence, falls, visual impairment such as glaucoma, hearing impairment and dementia.
For younger patients, preventive healthcare is focused on the prevention of communicable and chronic diseases, which involves lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, physical activity and nutrition.
Vascular and metabolic disease prevention may involve assessments and tests for high blood pressure, cholesterol and other lipids, Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and atrial fibrillation.
Preventive healthcare also seeks to identify early detection of cancers such as prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and testicular cancer.
Our GPs can help across the spectrum of preventive medicine. We aim to inform and educate our patients to be able to make the best choices for their own preventive healthcare management plan.