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Secondary Prevention

SECONDARY PREVENTION

Secondary prevention generally consists of the identification and interdiction of diseases that are present in the body, but that have not progressed to the point of causing signs, symptoms, and dys-function. These preclinical conditions are most often detected by disease screening (and follow-up of the findings). Examples of screening procedures that lead to the prevention of disease emergence include the Pap smear for detecting early cervical cancer, routine mammography for early breast cancer, sigmoidoscopy for detecting colon cancer, periodic determination of blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, and screening for high blood-lead levels in persons with high occupational or other environmental exposures.

Robert B. Wallace

(see also: Prevention; Prevention Research; Primary Prevention; Screening; Tertiary Prevention )

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secondary prevention

secondary prevention n. the avoidance or alleviation of the serious consequences of disease by early detection and appropriate management. See also preventive medicine.

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