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For most Americans, the doctor’s office is a place you visit only when you’re ill.  Unfortunately, Americans only take advantage of preventative health care services at half the recommended rate. Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in the U.S, and can often be present in their early stages without presenting noticeable symptoms. Factors such as genetics, prior medical history, and your bodies overall condition, contribute to the condition of your health as you get older.  There are multiple tests and screenings available through your primary doctor or specialist that you can take advantage of. Here are some essential ways to take advantage of preventative health care services can benefit you.

Detect Disease Early

A crucial part of maintaining your health and reducing your risk of facing chronic disease is understanding that many of them are fully treatable if detected early in their course.  Early detection could potentially save your life and lower your risk of life-threatening diseases developing passed the point of treatment. Depending on your prior medical and family history, you may want to focus on some preventative screenings more urgently than others.  For example, women who have previously battled breast cancer, or have a known family history, should be proactive about scheduling routine mammograms and breast exams, as they typically face a higher risk of developing this disease.

Increase Treatment Options

Detecting a disease early enough can often result in more effective forms of treatment.  Certain cancers could metastasize quickly if undetected or left untreated. Once it’s spread, the available treatment options often become more invasive and challenging for the patient to manage.  When diseases are detected early enough, a patient’s potential for a successful treatment drastically increases.

Maintain Your Health

You can always maintain your health by eating right, avoiding harmful substances, and exercising on a regular basis.  Though diet and exercise are beneficial and can often decrease your risk of developing chronic illnesses, regularly scheduled check-ups and preventative health screenings are also important. Regular check-ups with your primary doctor and routine appointments with specialists for specific screenings increase your potential for early detection.