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Is Prvnt_on lwys Bttr thn Cur The case of Brst Cncr Scrn_ng - Assignment Example

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MSC Public Health and Health Promotion Public Health Ethics SHHM05 Alison Hann and Gill Olumide Is Prevention always better than Cure? The case of Breast Cancer screening Student No: 628587 Word Count: 3345 Submission Date: 14-1-2011 Introduction: In the current advent of innovation and globalization, with shrinking distances and integrated economies, the health care system is also undergoing a paradigm shift…
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Download file to see previous pages The introduction of the new health care policy in the 1970’s which emphasized on health promotion as the proposed strategy for the prevention of diseases, in particular diseases in which lifestyle factors had a definitive causative role, marked the beginning of this new era of preventive medicine (Larsen, 2010). Over the centuries, there has been a widespread belief amongst both the health care providers and the general population that prevention is better than cure. However, the effectiveness of such an approach towards health care is oft debated and more recently, the term ‘Preventionitis,’ which challenges this belief, has evolved and has gained popularity. Preventionitis’ is a political term that seeks to question the commonly held belief that prevention is a better and a more cost effective method, than curing a range of the nation’s health problems. In the view of many, some preventative medicine works whilst much does not. In addition, the costs of failure are high and this challenges the dogma that prevention is cheaper than cure (Le Fanu & Social Affairs Unit, 1994). The provision of preventive health services falls under the domain of public health. Public health is an umbrella term which encompasses a wide range of health services offered to the public and has been defined as ‘The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organised efforts of the society (Ewles & Simnett, 2003).’ Preventive Medicine offers a wide range of services for the public, including and not limited to, personal health checks, family planning and immunization (Ewles & Simnett, 2003). In addition, other services offered include health education, screening for various diseases, counselling regarding health care and adaptation of healthy behaviours, and provision of preventive medications in cases where it is available (USPSTF, 2010). It is important to remember, however, that public health is a multidisciplinary and multifaceted phenomenon and its scope is not just limited to the aforementioned services. The opponents of the preventive approach to health care present several arguments against the effectiveness of preventive strategies in health promotion. It is believed that prevention of illness is limited by the fact that most of us live out our natural lifespan and die of disease that is determined by the ageing process; since this is a predetermined phenomenon, any improvement in an individual’s lifespan or quality of life is small (Le Fanu & Social Affairs Unit, 1994). Studies have revealed that the increase in life expectancy by preventing or curing all cancers for those between the ages of 15 and 65, even if this were possible, would be only seven months. Moreover, the limitation of prevention policies by epidemiology, which raises association between disease and life style factors, is unhelpful in providing proof (Le Fanu & Social Affairs Unit, 1994). Thus, all these factors have contributed towards the questionable nature of the efficacy of preventive health services being offered to the public. An important aspect of preventive health is health awareness which can be achieved by health education. An effective strategy in promoting screening modalities for cancers amongst the general public is by means of mass awareness campaigns. Awareness campaigns relating to cancer are common at the present ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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