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— Ron B.
Merritt Island, Florida

Today is Saturday, September 22, 2018

What is Preventive Medicine?

Preventive medicine or preventive care refers to measures taken to prevent diseases, (or injuries) rather than curing them. It can be contrasted, not only with curative medicine, but also with public health methods (which work at the level of population health rather than individual health).

Preventive Medicine is broken down into three categories or levels.

  1. Primary Prevention: Primary prevention avoids the development of a disease. Most population-based health promotion activities are primary preventive measures.

  2. Secondary Prevention: Secondary prevention activities are aimed at early disease detection, thereby increasing opportunities for interventions to prevent progression of the disease and emergence of symptoms.

  3. Tertiary Prevention: Tertiary prevention reduces the negative impact of an already established disease by restoring function and reducing disease-related complications.

Simple examples of preventive medicine include hand washing, immunizations and diet. Preventive care may include exercise, and activities to examinations and screening tests tailored to an individual's age, health, and family history. For example, a person with a family history of certain cancers or other diseases would begin screening at an earlier age and/or more frequently than those with no family history.

On the other side of preventive medicine, some non-profit organizations, such as the Northern California Cancer Center, apply epidemiological research towards finding ways to prevent diseases.