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Many empty tube blod for blood test screening

East Hill Family Medical firmly believes in treating the whole patient and helping people become and stay healthy. This means that we work with the patient and the patient’s family as partners. We offer a patient-doctor relationship that offers personalized, participatory care and emphasizes healing of emotional and physical health.

Did you know that chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are responsible for seven of every 10 deaths among Americans each year? These chronic diseases can be largely preventable through preventative screenings and a close partnership with your health care team. Preventative health screenings have long been advocated as one of the most important health care strategies to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment, improve quality of life and prevent premature death.

“Making sure you are up-to-date on preventative health screenings is one of the most important things you can do to say healthy,” said Dr. Adam Duckett, physician and medical director at East Hill Family Medical. “At every stage of your adult life, you should undergo routine screening exams to catch any potential health problems. The goal of screenings is not only to discover health problems, but to improve health outcomes that matter to the patient as well."

The most common preventative services for adults fall under three categories: cancer screenings, cardiovascular disease screenings and immunizations. Here’s a look into a few examples of preventative care that fall into these categories:

Cancer screenings

Colorectal cancer screening: This preventative measure is recommended for men and women once they reach age 50. Colonoscopies are standard for this screenings, but there are other alternatives to help aid colorectal cancer detection such as Cologuard, a stool-based colorectal cancer screening test.

Breast cancer screening: Mammograms (X-ray of the breast) are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat, and having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women at average risk of breast cancer should be offered screening mammography starting at age 40. If they have not initiated screening in their 40s, they should begin screening mammography by no later than age 50. The decision about the age to begin mammography screening should be made through shared decision-making between the patient and provider.

Cervical cancer screenings: There are two screening tests that can help prevent cervical cancer, or find it early. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes. How often women should be tested generally depends on age, but it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.

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Prostate cancer: Screening for prostate cancer is done using a test that looks for a protein in the blood called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). It is recommended that men ages 55-69 engage in a discussion with their doctor about the benefits and harms of periodic screenings and make an individual decision about being screened for prostate cancer.

Cardiovascular disease screenings

Adults should have a health care professional check their blood pressure at least once every two years and their cholesterol levels at least every five years. These screenings are important because they can be indicators of cardiovascular disease.

Immunizations

There are several immunization vaccines recommended for adults, including protection against the flu, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. How many or how often you need specific vaccines will vary. Talk to your doctor for a recommended immunization schedule.

It’s time to take charge of your health! Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to discuss what screenings and exams you need and when you need them. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Duckett, call East Hill Family Medical’s Adult Medicine Office at (315) 253-8477.

We are all more than the sum of our body parts, illnesses or injuries. To become and stay healthy, the well-being of our whole selves needs to be considered. This includes our personal histories, values, life events and the people who matter most to us. It’s having a healthy mind and a healthy body.

All the articles in the series can be found at easthillmedical.com.

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Danielle Collier is the director of marketing and communications at East Hill Family Medical, a federally qualified health center offering dental, reproductive health, internal medicine and pediatric services. Located at 144 Genesee St., Auburn, the center can be contacted at easthillmedical.com or (315) 253-8477.

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