Preventive medicine is a buzz-phrase that many medical professionals love to throw around. However, in the conventional medical system the term prevention is often used to apply to what should be known as screening. Tests such as PAP smears, mammograms and colonoscopies do not prevent cancer, they simply attempt to screen a large portion of the population to detect the presence of these cancers at an early stage, when treatment can be most affective. They are recommended for silent diseases that only produce symptoms once they are advanced, but they are screening exams, they do not, in and of themselves, prevent cancer. If one of these tests comes back positive, it means that the patient’s body is already along the course of disease and needs treatment.
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