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The Hub Physical Health

Why preventive health screenings are important

When was the last time you took your car to the mechanic for a tire rotation, oil change or a general checkup under the hood?

Most of us recognize the need for regular vehicle maintenance because we know that if we only tended to our cars when there was a leaky gasket or a flat tire, we’d be asking for trouble.

While it may seem ludicrous to drive a vehicle that hasn’t had its oil changed in a decade, in 2015 only 8% of Americans ages 35 and older had received all of the preventive services recommended by their doctor.

Just like our cars, our bodies malfunction if we don’t take preventive measures. By getting preventive health screenings, you can keep going strong.

Preventive health screenings are an essential alert system

If left untreated, issues can occur in the body that can lead to larger health problems. Thankfully, preventive health screenings help us recognize early stage changes so that we can identify and use available treatments to improve our longevity and quality of life.

For example, at Vivacity Care Center, we perform the following at your routine 60-minute wellness visit:

  • A biometric screening exam
  • Physical exam measurements
  • A rapid cholesterol and blood sugar test

These screenings help give us a complete picture of your health, which helps us set health goals with you. By knowing your personal risks, you can make decisions regarding behavioral changes.

For example, if elevated levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, or blood pressure are detected early and treated appropriately, the risk of heart attack or stroke can be drastically reduced.

Genetics play a big role in prevention and detection

Sometimes, the most important details you can give your healthcare provider aren’t about you at all but about your family members.

Our genetic predispositions can put us at an increased risk in the development of many diseases. With a detailed family history, we can tailor recommendations for preventive health screenings and treatment based on your unique risks.

Cancer screening guidelines are meant for people without a family history of cancer since most cancers are due to the accumulation of mutations over time. However, if we uncover a significant family history of early cancers, we often recommend enhanced screening at an earlier age.

Age and risk for disease are usually directly related

With the addition of more birthday candles comes an increased risk of chronic disease. Growing old gracefully means avoiding preventable diseases that can cause premature disability and death. And it’s important to recognize that a lot of quality research has gone into age-specific recommendations.

Preventive health screenings come in many forms, from something as simple as a regular skin check for suspicious moles or as complex as a colon cancer screening by a specialist.

While it may be an inconvenience to celebrate your 50th birthday by getting a colonoscopy, it’s important to understand that this screening test is valuable.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in our country and screening can reduce your personal risk by almost 70%.

When in doubt, we are here to help

While all of this can feel overwhelming, the providers at Vivacity Care Center love preventive healthcare.

  • We collaborate as a team.
  • We take a holistic approach to prevention.
  • Through our advanced primary care model, we gain time with you so that we can help plan a prevention strategy that works for you.

You might even get a 50th birthday card from us…with a reminder of your newfound eligibility for colon cancer screening. What a gift!

Vivacity Care Center is your partner in preventive medicine.

Virtual or in-person appointments are available.

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About Paula Dygert, MD

Dr. Dygert is a physician and regional medical director at the North Spokane Care Center. With a background in both urgent and primary care, Dr. Dygert is committed to being there for her patients. When not in the office, Dr. Dygert enjoys an active home life with her husband, black lab, and four children.

Meet Dr. Paula Dygert