Disease Prevention vs. Screening, They are NOT the Same Thing…

By on December 15, 2009
prevention or screening, don't get confused

Doctors and insurance companies have brainwashed us into believing that screening exams or early detection exams are the same thing as disease prevention. This is absolute nonsense. In fact the idea for this article came about by hearing an ad for an insurance company that offered “Free Prevention Screening Exams”. A “Prevention Screening” is an oxymoron like “Jumbo Shrimp”. The only way that the term “Prevention Screening” would make sense would be if a someone was having people come in to see them for the purpose of making sure they were doing all that they could to prevent disease. But that is not what happens at a disease screening.

Disease Screening is much like pregnancy testing. A friend of mine is trying to get pregnant right now and about 2 weeks after she ovulates, she does a pregnancy test. She is doing Pregnancy SCREENING. Is she PREVENTING pregnancy by doing her ‘Pregnancy Screening Exam’? No, she is actively ATTEMPTING to GET pregnant. Screening and Prevention are two distinctly different entities. Doing a screening exam is to detect something that has ALREADY happened- like pregnancy or cancer. In order to PREVENT something, you must do something BEFORE the event to stop it.

There is NO PREVENTION being done at all when you get a :

  • Breast Self Exam
  • Mammogram
  • Pap Smear
  • Prostate exam
  • Treadmill test for heart disease

These only do anything at all when you actually HAVE the disease. They are DETECTION devices, but do not in any way prevent or delay the onset of any disease in any way whatsoever. Yet most of us have a false sense of security after our annual physical exams. We think that they checked us out, so we must be in good shape. We don’t have to worry about it until next year.

But disease prevention is anything but that. We should BE preventing these diseases every day of our lives, by using st and use these screening exams only as ways to prove that we are doing things right or to show that our prevention methods have been a failure. While pap smears have decreased mortality over the years, Mammograms Have Been an Utter Failure for the outcome of decreasing mortality. That’s because they are a SCREENING exam and not a preventative measure. But now, there is one test that is a RISK SCREENING test for breast cancer. The Estrogen Level Test for Breast Cancer Risk screens you for your RISK for breast cancer- which means that you can be forewarned about your RISK for breast cancer and do something about it. What a great idea.

Be sure to also take a look at the Breast Cancer and Vitamin D page. Talk about reducing risk! How about a 50% risk reduction in breast cancer!?

About Kerri Knox, RN

The author is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With 20 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in both Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the underlying causes of chronic illness, while empowering you to take charge of your own health. She is the owner and author of this blog and website.

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