Prevention, Preventative, and Treatment- What is the Difference?


The word “prevention” is a relatively new term that is frequently used when describing health-related testing, procedures, and exams. I mention “new” as you may be used to seeing the word “preventative,” which is an older term meaning the same thing as “preventive.” The dictionary defines preventative or preventive healthcare as measures taken for preventing disease instead of measures taken for treating the disease.

Let me give you an example:

Your healthcare provider may suggest to you, depending on your age, to take a baby aspirin every day. If you are someone that is at higher risk for stroke because of a family history of stroke, or because you have high blood pressure, taking a baby aspirin will help to prevent a blood clot from forming and causing damage. By taking the aspirin, you are trying to prevent this adverse event (stroke) from happening. You are practicing “prevention” instead of being treated for having a stroke.

Another example is having a colonoscopy. In having this test done, you are having polyps or other abnormalities identified so that they can be treated or removed, so cancer of the colon does not develop in the future. In essence, you are helping to prevent future colon cancer by having the screening done today.

There are several other examples of testing and therapies that Aspire Indiana Health uses to prevent disease. Our focus at Aspire Indiana Health is to see you for “preventive” visits instead of “treatment” visits. We would rather help you prevent a disease than have to treat one that develops. Don’t get me wrong- we are experts at treating all different disease states, but we would rather prevent them from ever occurring, and I think you would too.

So whether you say “preventive” or “preventative,” either term is acceptable. The staff members at Aspire Indiana Health don’t care how you spell it. We are just looking forward to seeing you to discuss this very important part of your healthcare journey with you. Let us help you prevent illnesses and worsening conditions by practicing prevention.

To Good Health! 


Syd Ehmke, COO Aspire Indiana Health 


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