Plan for Prevention
If you want to take control of your health, but you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
Learn about preventive care and the steps you and your family can take to stay healthy, prevent disease, and live well.
These simple, but important, actions can help you live a longer and healthier life:
• develop and maintain healthy lifestyle habits
• get screening tests for early detection of disease
• stay up-to-date with immunizations
There’s no better time than now.
Skin Wellness: Seek the Shade and Protect Your Skin
Kaiser Permanente encourages everyone to practice skin wellness, especially during the summer months. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds is the most preventable cause of all skin cancers. In the United States, there are 3.5 million reported cases of skin cancer, with over two million people diagnosed every year. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer which is caused by exposure to UV light.
Here are some prevention guidelines to help you and your family reduce your risk of skin cancer:
- Use a water resistant sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA / UVB) protection and sun protective factor (SPF) 30 or higher year round. Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
- Avoid Tanning and UV tanning booths. Indoor UV tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who do not use indoor tanners.
- Cover up with clothing using a broad-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses. Wear densely woven clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. Melanoma can begin in moles you already have. If you notice any significant changes in existing moles or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately. Warning signs in moles include changing color, crusting, bleeding or itching. Professional skin exams should be done yearly by your physician.
- Limit time in the midday sun. The sun’s UV rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. To the extent possible, limit exposure to the sun during these hours.
For more information, please visit:
- Kaiser Permanente: Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer
- Kaiser Permanente: Sun Protection and Sunburns
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Skin Cancer Awareness
Summer is here, let’s go swimming! Although swimming is a fun activity, drowning is always a potential hazard. Use these tips to stay safe around the water:
- Learn Life-saving Skills- Everyone should know the basics of swimming and CPR. Knowing these skills could save a life.
- Life Jackets- Kids and weak swimmers should wear a life jacket if they are in or around pools, lakes, or oceans.
- Fence Off Pools- Backyard swimming pools should have a four-sided fence surrounding it with self-closing and self-latching gates. Fences can help keep children or pets away from the pool when there is no direct supervision.
- Supervise- Keep a close look out, all the time, for kids who are swimming. Drowning can occur quickly and with little sound, so it is important to refrain from distracting activities if you are supervising.
For more information, please visit:
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Summer Safety Tips: Sun and Water Safety
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Make Summer Safe For Kids
- Safe Kids Worldwide: Swimming
Thinking About Quitting Tobacco?
Quitting is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of your loved ones. Did you know within one year of quitting tobacco, some health benefits include:
- Risk of heart attack decreases
- Lung function improves
- Breathing improves
- Sense of smell and taste improves
- Energy level increases
Now is a good time to quit. By quitting, even for one day, you are taking a very important step towards a healthier life.
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping you become tobacco-free. We offer a variety of resources to both support and help you quit tobacco successfully. We have classes, a personal Wellness Coach, an online cessation program called “Breathe®”, and an online video about tobacco medications. In addition, there are community resources, such as the California Smokers’ Helpline and American Cancer Society, to support you through the quit process. Participating in a smoking cessation program or using tobacco medications doubles your chances of success.
For information about Kaiser Permanente’s resources, visit:
- Quitting Tobacco or call the Health Education Center at 1-866-248-0721
For community resources, visit:
- California Smokers’ Helpline or call 1-800-662-8887
For help quitting chewing tobacco call 1-800-844-2439
Screenings and Immunizations
Prevention Guidelines for Adults
Screening tests are an important part of preventive care. They are simple tests for the early detection of a disease or condition before you have any symptoms. The following screening tests are recommended for adults 18 years and older.
These recommendations are for generally healthy people and are for information only. If you have ongoing health problems, special health needs or risks, or if certain conditions run in your family, talk with your physician. He or she may recommend additional screening tests.
Types of Screening Tests and When They’re Recommended
Mammograms are recommended for women age 40 to 74 every 1 to 2 years. Women 75 and older, should discuss the need for mammography with their doctor.
For women, have a Pap test every 3 years starting at age 21 or earlier if sexually active. Beginning at age 25, have a Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 3 years up to age 65.
Starting at age 40, cholesterol should be checked every 5 years, more often if its level is higher than normal.
Starting at age 50, have a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) once a year and/or a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years. If you are older than age 75, talk to your doctor about colorectal cancer screening.
For adults older than 45 years of age, get tested every 5 years.
HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Get tested for HIV and other STDs if you have had unprotected sex, are pregnant, or have any other reasons to think you may be at risk. Have a yearly chlamydia test if you’re sexually active and between ages 14 and 25.
Have your blood pressure checked every 1 to 2 years.
Talk to your physician about having a bone mineral density (BMD) test at age 65.
Overweight and obesity
Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated every 1 to 2 years.
During pregnancy, your medical team may recommend a variety of screening tests to make sure you are healthy and that your baby is developing properly. Take all the tests recommended by your medical team. Learn more about what to expect during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and caring for your newborn.
Men age 40 and older, discuss the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and rectal exam with your physician.
The following options will help you find out which preventive health services you might be due for.
- At your next appointment, check the bottom of your registration slip.
- Stop by Health Education to have a staff member look them up for you.
- Go online to kp.org/prevention for more information.