Prevention is imperative. Early detection of diseases through regular preventive health checkups saves us from undergoing the ordeal of extensive treatment and incurring financial losses. Dr. Asavari Pradhan shared her valuable insights about the importance of preventive healthcare in defining our future health status.
Indus Representative: Dr. Pradhan, what role preventive healthcare plays in our lives?
Dr. Pradhan: Undoubtedly, people are living much longer than earlier days due to extensive medical advancements but unfortunately the quality of life has detoriated, courtesy unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits. By practicing preventive healthcare, the person stands in a better place to assess his present health status. If at all a prevailing illness is detected through a health checkup, he is able to treat and manage it well with timely medical intervention.
Indus Representative: People take prevention as a secondary option to curative treatment. How important it is to change this colossal mid set?
Dr. Pradhan: Preventive care is actually "healthcare redefined". When a person is in good health, disease seems a distant word but on falling ill, he is left with no choice but to run around for getting the disease fixed. Preventive healthcare must be a planned step, executed well ahead in time. With early detection of disease, the extent of curative treatment automatically comes down to a large extent.
Taking for an example, an abnormal growth in abdomen detected in its preliminary stage through a regular screening ultrasound may not require extensive cancer treatment like radiation or chemotherapy. Mere surgical removal of the mass and its nearby lymph nodes will do the needful, which would have not been the case if that asymptomatic abnormal mass would remain there undiagnosed for a long period of time.
Therefore, treatment of the disease does play an important role but early detection will definitely lead to a better prognosis of disease.
Indus Representative: Who needs a preventive health checkup? Like, if everything seems ok and the person is not experiencing any signs and symptoms of a disease as such, do you still suggest and recommend him to go for a preventive health check?
Dr. Pradhan: Even though the person seems morphologically healthy, still the need for a preventive health checkup remains unchanged. A preventive health checkup can find out those silent diseases, which are largely asymptomatic in their initial stages and lay quietly hidden but continue to damage the body from inside. Therefore, not necessarily one has to be sick to undergo a checkup but in good health also, regular health checkups are as essential.
With the trending lifestyle induced diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and others, I strongly advocate the need of preventive health checkups for everybody.
Indus Representative: Suggest some simple lifestyle modification that one can follow in a day to day life to remain healthy?
Dr. Pradhan: I would recommend four cardinal factors to be followed by everyone. Firstly, do not smoke and limit alcohol intake to minimum. Secondly, exercise at least thrice a week. Thirdly sleep adequately and last but not the least, take regular preventive health checkups. There are no two ways about it.
Indus Representative: After a preventive health check, if nothing is detected then what?
Dr. Pradhan: If nothing comes out wrong with your checkup reports then it definitely calls for a celebration. But that doesn't mean going overboard with sugar, salt and fats. Maintain and stick to a healthy lifestyle and keep repeating such checkups on a regular basis.
As the age advances, get the tests done on an annual basis. Consult your physician to guide you for the type of tests that you need to take, considering your present health status and risk factors.
Thanks Dr. Pradhan for sharing these valuable inputs. I am sure the readers have understood the might of regular preventive health checkups and how it can save us from a lot of hassle and discomfort.