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Preventive therapy is therapeutic intervention intended to prevent disease. The aim of preventive medicine is to promote health and reduce the risks of disease, injury, disability and death. This includes actions dedicated towards eradicating, eliminating, or minimizing the impact of disease and disability. Preventive therapy is usually categorized into 5 categories: primal & primordial prevention, primary prevention, secondary prevention, tertiary prevention and quaternary prevention.
Primal & primordial prevention involves prevention of the emergence or development of risk factors in areas or populations where they haven’t yet appeared. An example of this is discouraging smoking among children in order to prevent smoking related cancers and other diseases in adult population.
Primary prevention includes the action which prior to onset of disease, which removes the possibility that disease will occur. An example of this is quitting smoking in order to prevent occurrence of smoking related cancers. Immunization against disease is another such method.
Secondary prevention involves action taken in order to halt the progress of a disease at its incipient stage and thereby, prevents complications. This includes early diagnosis and treatment of existing disease prior to the appearance of symptoms. Examples include treatment of hypertension and cancer screenings.
Tertiary prevention involves all measures taken to reduce or limit the impairments and disabilities, and to promote the patient’s adjustment to the irreversible consequences of the disease or disability (if any). Examples include surgical procedures that halt the spread or progression of disease and measures taken to promote rehabilitation of the patient.
Quaternary prevention are the actions taken to avoid overmedication of the patient, to protect them from new medical invasion and to suggest interventions which are ethically acceptable. Avoiding indiscriminate use of antibiotics is an example of this.