Ounce of Prevention: Is it really worth a pound of cure?

29Aug10

Preventive care can be the most cost-effective care provided. Whether its immunizations to prevent infections, physical exam screenings for breast, colon, testicular, prostate cancers, or surveys for depression, anxiety, and coping ability. The annual physical exam does not need to be a rote fruitless ritual that many have gotten used to by their managed care physician.

On an annual basis I recommend and have done myself blood pressure, EKG, height and weight, (unfortunately I weigh more than I should given my height. But I am working on it and am well aware of how difficult it is.) I also have an annual testicular exam to detect cancer, as well as an eye exam to check for early signs of blood pressure damage and glaucoma. I also have blood work done to check for anemia, liver and kidney function as well as cholesterol and diabetes testing. Just because my BP is normal does not mean that it may not be relatively high and unnoticed. So I use the eye exam to corroborate the findings from my physical exam. Also the body can compensate quite well and symptoms of glaucoma can go unnoticed for a long time.

Patients often ask me what I think about body scans. The answer to that question depends on why you want to have the scan done. I really try to avoid body scans (not just because “House hates body scans”) because they usual yield a finding that may not be related to the presenting problem but now present a problem that may need to be investigated. These findings that are not related to a problem are called incidental findings and they may or may not be problematic, but they are always stress provoking. If you think you need a body scan you should speak to your primary care provider (nurse practitioner or physician) and arrive at that conclusion together. There are some imaging studies that can be very helpful without the risk of radiation and have a lower incidence of incidental finding.

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly if would like to request an appointment or have something checked out  (MetroMedicalDirert.com)

These are my thoughts on prevention. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment here on the Face Book page for Metro Medical Direct.

Raymond Zakhari, NP

Primary Care Provider



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