Quitting smoking, exercising more, healthy eating and stressing less are all good resolutions but are easier said than done. We have a resolution for you which is easy to keep, visit your Link pharmacist or make an appointment with your GP for essential screenings and a medical check-up.
- Symptoms of some diseases are not felt in the early stages.
- Treat health problems before it becomes more serious.
- Early detection of a disease can lead to an improved prognosis.
Following a screening or medical check-up, you might be moved to adapt your resolution and make more urgent and pointed changes to your lifestyle.
We’ve mentioned just two cancer diseases below to provide a sense of the importance of regular check-ups with your GP.
CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) reports that prostate cancer and breast cancer are the most common cancers in men and women respectively. Increasingly, prostate cancer is being diagnosed at a late stage in South Africa. It is very important that cancer is diagnosed early to enable effective treatment and improve the chances of a favourable prognosis. The frequency of medical check-ups is determined by age, medical history and family history and your GP can advise you when a follow up is needed.
Why are screenings so important?
A check-up or screening can detect a broad range of medical problems but we highlight two examples below of the most common preventable diseases – Type 2 Diabetes and hypertension – to encourage people to talk to their Link pharmacist or GP early in 2022.
Diabetes – The CDE (Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology) reports that by the time a person is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, they have probably had the condition for 7-10 years. There are seldom symptoms in the early stages so without a screening or check-up it is not picked up early enough for effective treatment.
Why is an early diagnosis so important?
According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated Type 2 diabetes can cause heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye damage, skin conditions, slow healing of cuts and sores, hearing impairment, sleep apnea, and dementia.
High blood pressure (hypertension) – The WHO ( World Health Organisation) reports that the number of patients in the age group 30-79 being treated globally for high blood pressure has risen from 650 million to 1.28 billion in the last 30 years. Half of these people were unaware that they had high blood pressure. Hypertension significantly increases the risk of heart, brain and kidney disease but it is easily detected through a screening and can be treated effectively with medication.
“Some people have avoided visits to their GP in COVID 19 times. We urge people to visit their Link pharmacy for some basic but potentially life-saving screenings, and to make an appointment with their GP for a medical check-up. It’s an easy New Year resolution to keep!” says Link’s Ryan Conybeare.
While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.