Protect your health with prevention

Knowing when you’re due for important screenings and immunizations just got easier.

Preventive care is one of the best ways to guard against or detect serious conditions. And now you can view customized preventive care recommendations online, anytime. We’ll tell you how.

Preventive services like immunizations, Pap tests, and cholesterol screenings are very important to your health. And now it’s simple to check when you’re due for preventive care.

Visit My health manager. Once you’ve logged on, select “My medical record” and then “My preventive services.”

You can also check out your preventive care needs by visiting your doctor’s home page and clicking “View your preventive services.”

The recommendations are customized for your age and gender. They’re intended for people of average risk, so you’ll want to discuss your risk level with your doctor.

“Unlike other health records that list only the care you’ve already received, this new online service lets you quickly see what screening tests and immunizations you need,” explains Scott Gee, MD, medical director for prevention and health information in Northern California.

Learn more about preventive care.

How screening helped one member

Screenings can find cancer early, when it’s most treatable. This was the case for Nancy Cota, a member and mother of seven who lives in Martinez. Last year, her mammogram showed an abnormality that was later diagnosed as breast cancer.

Because the cancer was caught early, Cota was treated with surgery and didn’t require chemotherapy or radiation treatment. “I knew it hadn’t spread and that I had done the right thing by having it checked. The best chance for survival occurs if it’s caught early, and I was just thankful we did,” says Cota.

Are you unsure about the recommended frequency for mammograms? Check out Kaiser Permanente’s general screening recommendations.

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Screen for cancer at home

Kaiser Permanente recommends adults get screened for colon cancer starting at age 45. This can mean a flexible sigmoidoscopy. But another option is a fecal immunochemical test kit, or FIT. Some people find this choice easier because it can be done at home. Here’s how it works:

• Kaiser Permanente mails the FIT kit to your home, if you’re a member between 50 and 75.

• Collect a sample of your stool and return the postage-paid package in the mail.

With FIT, you don’t have to change your eating habits or stop medications before taking the test.

If your test is positive, your personal physician may refer you for further screenings. Adults over 50 and of average risk should do a FIT test every year.

“It’s never been easier for people to protect themselves from colorectal cancer,” explains T. R. Levin, MD, associate chief of Gastroenterology at our Walnut Creek Medical Center.

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