Dr. Yang Waikiki Explains the Need for Preventive Health

Dr. Sung Yang Honolulu Hawaii

February 10, 2021

Dr. Yang Waikiki

It’s common for someone to go to the doctor when they are sick, but many people aren’t aware of the importance of preventive health or screening for diseases even when they are not sick. Preventing a disease or catching a disease early is much more effective for the individual and society as a whole than treating the disease at later and more advanced stages. Dr. Yang Waikiki has been offering personalized and high-quality medical care to Hawaii residents and tourists since 2010. He explains why these screenings are so important. 

Preventive Health Increases Life Expectancy and Quality of Life

60% of Americans have at least one chronic disease. 42% have more than one chronic disease, which can reduce both the quality and quantity of life.  Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and long-term disability in the United States. Dr. Yang Waikiki states that many of these diseases can be prevented or treated at early stages. When it comes to cancer, following screening recommendations could increase the survival rate from 80% to 95%. Preventive health can make a tremendous positive impact on individual health and quality of life as well as the financial cost of healthcare.

Most common chronic diseases including but not limited to:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Coronary artery (heart) disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancers
  • Emphysema
  • Cirrhosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis

 

Dr. Yang Waikiki Explains Primary and Secondary Prevention

Preventive health encompasses two types: primary and secondary prevention. Dr. Yang Waikiki explains that primary prevention is the use of vaccines, counseling, blood tests, imaging tests, or procedures to detect diseases before they occur for the first time. Counseling about smoking cessation, blood tests for diabetes, mammograms for breast cancer, and colonoscopy for colon cancer are some examples of primary prevention.  Patients should make an appointment with their primary care doctor like Dr. Yang Waikiki to review their medical history and lifestyle and identify any risk factors for certain diseases such as age, obesity, family history of colon cancer.  Then, patients should make and follow a checklist of diseases and screening tests as recommended by their doctor.  Dr. Yang Waikiki always does an Annual Wellness Visit to develop and implement this checklist of preventive health for each patient during the first office visit of each year. 

Secondary prevention is the close monitoring of the disease that has already occurred for any recurrent episodes or complications of the disease. Smoking cessation counseling, checking cholesterol levels every 3 months, and taking certain medications to prevent another heart attack in patients who already have known coronary artery (heart) disease are examples of secondary prevention.   Just like primary prevention secondary prevention needs to be done regularly even in the absence of symptoms.   Dr. Yang Waikiki also recommends incorporating the secondary prevention into the Annual Wellness Visit.

 

Keeping Up to Date With Preventive Health

Dr. Yang Waikiki states that the best way to stay up to date with primary and secondary prevention is to work closely with your primary care doctor. While there are general guidelines for screening, it’s best to take a personalized approach. A personalized approach considers individual health and risk factors, which then provides the appropriate screening at the appropriate time.