Hippocrates argued that “prevention is better than cure”, highlighting its importance for both physical and mental health and longevity. The rapid advance of technology has greatly favored medical science, supporting the fields of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. In particular, medical community emphasizes the importance of prevention and early diagnosis in the protection of human health. With more and more risk factors emerging due to modern lifestyle, it is important that both preventive medicine and individual responsibility remain vigilant.
Types of prevention
Disease prevention involves actions to reduce or eliminate exposure to risks that might increase the chances that an individual or group will incur a disease or health problem. There are three main types of prevention:
Primary prevention, which aims to prevent the occurrence of a disease or health problem.
Secondary prevention, which aims at the early diagnosis of a disease or health problem.
Tertiary prevention, which aims to reduce the impact of a disease or health problem.
Benefits of disease prevention
Disease prevention is literally lifesaving. Some of its main benefits include:
Promotes health: Prevention enhances and ensures good physical and mental health, thus protecting against diseases.
Improves the quality of life: The popular saying that “Health is Wealth” implies a great truth: health is the greatest wealth anybody can have. Anything can be achieved if we have good health. If we remain healthy and strong, we -potentially- can live the life we dream of.
Protects our beloved people: Prevention allows us to protect our loved ones and ourselves from fatal diseases and health problems, enabling us to live surrounded by those people who matter the most.
Prevention in practice: general rules
To incorporate disease prevention in our lives, it is important to adhere to the following rules:
Monitoring our health: Checking our health condition regularly is both essential and beneficial. We should not neglect or postpone our annual health check-up. For sure, depending on gender and age, the examinations may vary, so we must follow the instructions of our doctor. The same applies to cases of specific health problems, predisposing factors or hereditary history (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer*, diabetes mellitus, etc.).
Childhood vaccination: Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent childhood diseases.
Following a healthy diet: Nutritional habits have a huge impact on health. A diet including healthy food options, variety, an abundance of nutrients and lack of processed food supports the human health.
Exercising: Physical activity – whether it is walking, running, swimming or whatever we are fond of- is important for physical and mental well-being.
Avoiding addictions: We should stay away from harmful habits, such as smoking or alcohol drinking.
In conclusion, we should not forget that even the most serious health conditions, if diagnosed in time, can be treated effectively nowadays. Prevention saves lives; thus, we should always prioritize our health.
*In a global effort to raise awareness on breast cancer, October has been designated as the Pink Month. Screening saves lives. We ought to take all the necessary protective measures: self-examination, clinical examination, breast ultrasound, mammography.