Preventive Medicine focuses on the maintenance of good health for the individual. This is in
contrast to the traditional role of medicine, which focuses on the treatment & cure for illnesses.
There are five diseases which cause the majority of deaths annually, namely:
• Heart Disease
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (bronchitis, emphysema)
• Diabetes related illness
The encouraging news is that, although these chronic diseases with its associated complications are among the most common of all health problems, they are also the most preventable.
At Thomson Lifestyle Centre, each consultation with our doctors would include a detailed history & examination. With the patient’s medical history, lifestyle habits & family background, our doctors will be better equipped to assess the risk of the individual to certain development diseases. Coupled with knowledge of current disease patterns in the region, patients will be advised on the appropriate primary preventive measures & health screening packages. The final component to the health screening would be the review & follow up of the conditions identified.
In preventive medicine, this is known as tertiary prevention. Primary preventive measures would include all the activities individuals can do each day to prevent the development disease. Key examples would be regular exercise, healthy eating habits, avoidance of smoking & excessive alcohol.
A comprehensive health screening package would include detection of risk factors to common morbidities like heart diseases & strokes. This would include a blood pressure check, lipid profile test & diabetic screening. The Health Assessment package should also strive to detect common cancers based on age & gender. Smoking & prior infections like Hepatitis B & HPV infections would also increase incidence of specific cancers & these would be appropriately screened.
The under-mentioned cancer screening tests are especially useful due to their high population
• Breast cancer screening via mammogram & ultrasound
• Cervical cancer screening via PAP smear test
• Pelvic scan to look for gynecological cancers
• Colorectal cancer screening via testing the stools for occult blood, CEA levels & a colonoscopy
• Prostate cancer screening via a PSA level & physical per-rectal examination
Additional tests suggested would be based on the individual’s risk assessment. Current chronic
medical illness & lifestyle habits would predispose one to certain secondary illnesses and this should be screened selectively. A good example would be a Stress ECG or Stress Echo. This should be done if one has risk factors for heart disease, as a resting ECG may not be able to detect less severe ischemic heart disease
Once a condition has been identified, our doctors would discuss the follow up actions. Under careful medical guidance, these conditions would be closely monitored. Depending on the condition, action plans may include reinforcing the primary preventive measures mentioned above. Some conditions may warrant chronic medications & referrals to specialist, these would be discussed accordingly.
At Thomson Specialist Centre, it is our belief that through regular healthscreenings, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet & proper medical care, we can improve our quality of life, thereby adding more living years.
Source: Healthy Living – website: www.thomsonlifestylecentre.com