We all like to believe we know what our bodies are up to. Many of us exercise, eat right and feel good about ourselves. However, what we see on the surface isn’t always what is real. There are many health risks below the skin that don’t always give indication. Most of these conditions won’t create a physical symptom until it is too late. This is why early detection is so important. Many of these underlying risks can be cured or controlled if found early. Here are 5 conditions that should be detected early to keep them under control.
Heart and Kidney Disease
In the US, the number one killer is heart disease. According to the CDC, nearly 600,000 people die each year from heart disease. Early detection of the risk of heart disease could have saved many of those lives. With lifestyle and dietary changes, those with a high risk of heart disease can help control it. Others with more severe conditions could undergo treatments before permanent damage occurs. A full physical with blood testing can help your physician determine your risk for heart disease.
In recent years there has been an increase in cancer patients. We all see the news where different foods and activities continue to be linked to causing cancer. Whether you believe them or not, the risk of cancer is very real.
You may also hear stories of those who battled with cancer and won, this is majorly due to early detection. Once cancer is found in its early stages, your rate of survival is 90%. The longer it grows without detection, the less likely you are to survive. As the cancer grows and spreads, your 90% chance reduces to 20%, then 10%. Whether cancer runs in your family or not, get a checkup often to catch it early enough for surgery and survival.
STDs and HPV
Many adults are sexually active. Those who are not in a committed relationship or change partners frequently are at risk of a hidden condition. STDs, HPV, and AIDS are very real and very serious. Each year nearly 12,000 people die of Hepatitis C, a sexually transmitted disease with a high fatality rate. Early detection can increase your chance for survival as well as reduce the spread.
In recent years there has been a rise in HPV related cancers. HPV is a family of sexually transmitted viruses. Originally it was linked to cervical cancer, however, now there are throat, penis, vulva and anus cancers linked to HPV. Early detection of HPV will allow vaccines to be used and effectively treat the infection, reducing the spread.
Another condition on the rise, diabetes, is a condition that requires early detection. We are now seeing cases of diabetes in children as well as adults. Many of the severe symptoms of diabetes can be avoided with a change in eating habits and increase in exercise. In severe cases, insulin and other prescription drugs can help to increase your quality of life if the diabetes is discovered early.
Anemia is a common blood condition in the US. It affects 3.6 million people, but is also treatable. Early detection by blood test can find if you suffer from anemia as well as the cause. There are different types of anemia based on the cause. For instance, sickle cell anemia and iron-deficient anemia can be caused by faulty red blood cell production. Anemia may also be caused by blood loss. With hereditary and dietary causes, there is no wonder why anemia affects so many people.
Whether you feel fine, or you may just feel a little warn out, there may be underlying risks that require early detection before they worsen. Along with your normal checkup, schedule a blood test to determine your risk and any condition hiding beneath the surface. With the rise of so many conditions, taking control of your health is more important now than ever.
Sue L. McBride is a health blogger who suggests getting tested in Washington DC for STI’s and other hidden health risks.