Most doctors recommend that their patients see a primary care physician once a year to check blood pressure, respiratory rate, cholesterol levels, liver function and other systems. Those things are routine, but the reason doctors ask patients to see them regularly is for preventative medicine. The costs of medical care and insurance have been soaring for decades. Medical treatment costs are much higher than the screening process costs.
Family doctors urge annual checks for blood pressure, cholesterol levels and prostate. Being examined by a dermatologist who screens for skin cancer is another important preventative measure. Women should regularly be seen by their gynecologist to rule out or examine for signs, symptoms of breast, ovarian, uterine cancer and other devastating diseases.
Those in good health past the age of 60 may realize that they are lucky but should take steps to safeguard their health against future problems.
More than 30 million Americans do not have health insurance. It makes preventative healthcare difficult, if not impossible, for those without the benefit of insurance. Costs associated even with check-ups can be more expensive and out of reach for many households. But the reward of getting regular check-ups is vital.
Identifying the source of health problems early can save lives. The American Cancer Society announced that women should receive a PAP smear to screen for cervical cancer every three years. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, an independent panel of primary care physicians appointed by the federal government, raised the recommended age to start mammography screening from 40 to 50. The task force said that mammograms pose the most benefit with the least risk at age 50. Also important for men is the prostate-specific test for prostate cancer.
There are some over-zealous organizations that seek to do intrusive tests, such as biopsies and surgeries when not necessary. Generally speaking, preventative medicine means check-ups and identification of possible ominous signs of illness.
The goal of screening for breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and other varieties of cancer and illness is to save lives by catching these problems early. The benefits of early detection far outrank the harm. But if the costs of such check-ups are out-of-pocket, will most Americans follow through? Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, most insurance policies cover preventative services. In any event, if you do have insurance, check with your company to make sure that check-ups and screenings are covered.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence matters and has been safeguarding individuals and families from safety hazards and product defects for more than 36 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Chicago (Edison Park), Chicago (Jefferson Park), Cicero, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Chicago (Austin), Chicago (Garfield Park), Riverside, Brookfield, Bedford Park and Justice, Illinois.
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