Disease prevention is the secret to longevity

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kathleen Kay Echaluse
  • 6th Medical Group

The world of medicine has proven a healthy lifestyle combined with disease prevention can help avoid many illnesses.

According to American College of Preventive Medicine, the goal of preventive medicine is to “protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being and to prevent disease, disability, and death.”

Aside from taking care of the medical needs of our patients, our mission here in the 6th Medical Group is to promote disease prevention and educate our patients regarding the resources available to them.

Our clinic has several programs that patients can utilize to achieve their optimum health, which include health screenings, testing, and immunizations. During wellness visits, our medical staff reminds patients if they are due for any health screenings.

Some of the recommended preventive services for all patients include diabetes screening (ages 40-70), colonoscopy (ages 50-70), lung cancer screening (ages 55-80 for smokers) and immunizations like influenza, zoster, pneumococcal vaccine (PCV), HPV, and hepatitis A, B, and C.

For women specifically, cervical screening (every 3 years for ages 21-29; 5 years for ages 30-65), mammogram (ages 50-74 every 2 years), and osteoporosis screening (for ages 65+) are the recommended ones while prostate cancer screening (ages 55- 69) are specifically for men.

Patients may contact their primary care manager for any questions pertaining to their health and they may use the appointment line’s number: 813-827-2273 or TRICARE Online to achieve this.

Patients are highly encouraged to ask and get involved with their health care team on information regarding the preventive services available to them.

Furthermore, preventive medicine takes a proactive approach so it is imperative that patients remain involved in their healthcare and participate in these programs. After all, as the famous philosopher Desiderius Erasmus once stated, “Prevention is better than cure.”