Is Prevention better than Cure?

Please do not start thinking that you have heard enough about this prevention “thing”. So many times, that you do not need to read anything else about it, you know it all.
Right, but definitely wrong. Wrong because most people might have heard all about prevention but, knowing is not enough, one needs to put it into practice and that is not the case for most people.
There are a few that do it but not that many, not as many as it should be.
It is certainly wise to use adequately and accurately all the fantastic new health prevention tools we have at our disposal. It takes good cooperation between the client and the doctor to make it work. And it works better if they both know what they are talking about, each one at their own appropriate level. They also have to trust each other. Note that I say client, not patient, but to be “patient” is indeed a very valuable quality for a client, when we are discussing prevention.

In old times Chinese doctors were regularly paid to keep their clients in good health. No payment was made when they were ill. It is evident that we are quickly going back to that wise approach of doing anything to keep people healthy, not to wait for the equilibrium to be broken and then having to mend it. Like a wound, it will leave a scar, in your body, your mind… and your pocket! When using a knife it is much better if you are careful, thus avoid cutting yourself and having to have pain, stitches, dressings, going to the doctors… and paying the doctors.
Prevention also costs, but it certainly costs less than treatment and there is less pain, less anguish, less avoidable black clouds and thunderstorms in the sunny days of life. Less possibility of being “invited” for a one way ride with a certain person dressed in black, carrying a frightening sickle, that no one wants to go with!
Be aware, foresee the danger and control it, at least as much as you can. This is prevention.

We should not forget that keeping up with the velocity of evolution and change that we are going through on all fronts, in our time, is a difficult pace for everyone, not forgetting the doctors.
You might say that the Gods have gone mad. What was right and enough yesterday might not be enough, any more, the next day.
We are just getting used to cholesterol, learning about C Reactive Protein (CRP), adjusting to a new norm for our blood pressure, adapting to the idea that we really should see our doctor when we are healthy, that means when we still have no disease symptoms and… there we go again, a new must comes up in the state of the art for disease prevention. More risk factors for several diseases are being seriously taken into consideration and, when seeing the doctor, more factors and tests will be discussed, together with all those that were previously considered. It is getting more and more complicated but, as well, more and more efficient, progressively diminishing the probability of death, incapacity and unnecessary disease.

So if prevention can do all that, it can make people healthier and make it possible to have longer lives with the best possible quality of life.
Considering that “health is the slowest possible rate at which one can die” and prevention can generally improve health, prevention is, beyond any possible doubt, much better than cure.
By the way… do not forget the yearly flu vaccine and if you are above 50 years of age or have any chronic illnesses, think as well about the pneumonia (pneumococcal) vaccination.

Avoiding disease is mandatory in a civilized society. Be part of this effort, do it, for your own sake!
For the sake of your health.

Best health wishes,
Maria Alice 

Consultant in General and Family Medicine

General Manager/Medical Director – Luzdoc International Medical Service

Medical Director – Grupo Hospital Particular do Algarve

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