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Preventive Medicine: Should you see a primary care provider on a regular basis?


You may think you’re keeping your health care costs low by avoiding an annual medical checkup, but you could be preventing the discovery of a serious condition, which if detected on time could save your life. Regular preventive checkups with a primary care provider can help detect medical issues before they develop into serious problems.

“Checking a patient’s health history and vitals, including pulse, temperature, blood pressure and weight, allows a provider to evaluate risk factors and check for abnormalities during a physical exam,” said Dr. Shaily Macker, Family Medicine Physician at the Morris Hospital Yorkville Campus.

In the office, Dr. Macker educates patients about their health-related lifestyle choices and offers advice to improve overall health.

“A regular checkup can find problems like hypertension or an irregular heartbeat,” she says. “A simple blood test can detect diabetes and thyroid problems.”

“I check if children are developing properly and achieving their milestones during their physical,” she adds. “For adolescents and adults, I screen for depression and STDs, and counsel them on contraceptive use. I also screen for various types of cancers, based on their risk factors.”

Patients who smoke or are overweight receive counseling and recommendations for cessation of tobacco use and for weight loss.

“We’ve had positive outcomes where we caught lung cancer during a routine lung CT scan in a patient who smoked,” Dr. Macker said. “We’ve caught skin cancer, thyroid cancer and breast cancers early during routine checkups. Recently I also caught a tonsillar cancer and a squamous cell cancer of the neck during a preventive visit.”

Preventing disease and detecting diseases early are important for patients to lead healthy lives.

“Many chronic diseases and cancers can be prevented or detected early during a routine checkup,” Dr. Macker said. “Some serious diseases don’t have obvious symptoms, especially in early, treatable stages. Delaying treatment can make a medical condition much harder, or even impossible, to cure sometimes.”

Dr. Shaily Macker, Family Medicine Physician

Morris Hospital Yorkville Campus

105 Saravanos Drive

Yorkville, IL

Phone:  (630) 553-4600