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Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Recommended Preventive Services for Men and Women
Getting recommended preventive services, such as screening tests and immunizations, is an important part of staying healthy. Which preventive services are recommended for you depends on your age, sex, health status, and family history. Here is a schedule to help you understand VA’s preventive services recommendations for average-risk men and women:
It’s important to remember that all preventive services have “pros” and “cons.” Learning about possible benefits and harms can help you make the best decision. Talk with your VA health care team about the preventive services that are recommended for people like you.
Cancer Screening Videos
Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a former general internist at the White River Junction VAMC, has produced several short videos that explain how the screening process works. These videos address lead time and overdiagnosis bias, as well as several topics related to cancer screening:
Dr. Welch’s research focuses on the problems created by medicine's efforts to detect disease early—namely, that physicians test too often, treat too aggressively, and tell too many people that they’re sick. Most of his work has focused on overdiagnosis in cancer screening, in particular for melanoma, cervical, breast, and prostate cancer. He is also the author of the booksShould I be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why,Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, and most recently,Less Medicine, More Health. Seven Assumptions that Drive Too Much Medical Care.
Drinking alcohol may bring enjoyment (relaxation, social interactions, taste) as well as a variety of problems such as:
Reduced inhibitions (doing and saying things you wouldn’t do or say sober)
Motor impairment, car crashes, and other accidents
Negative interactions with prescribed medications
If you choose to drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Women and all people over age 64 should drink no more than 1 drink per day (and not more than 7 drinks per week), and men should drink no more than 2 drinks per day (and not more than 14 drinks per week). One drink is equivalent to:
12 oz. regular beer, usually about 5% alcohol or
8-9 oz. malt liquor, or
5 oz. table wine (12%), or
1.5 oz. 80-proof hard liquor
Drinking too much alcohol or “binge drinking” can lead to a higher risk of health problems, such as liver damage or other injuries. Binge drinking can be defined as:
More than 3 drinks on one occasion for women and adults over age 64
More than 4 drinks on one occasion for men
For many adults, drinking small amounts of alcohol does not cause serious health problems. Women who drink no more than 1 drink a day (and not more than 7 drinks per week) and men who drink no more than 2 drinks a day (and not more than 14 drinks per week) are at low-risk for developing problems with alcohol use. However, as we age, our bodies do not process alcohol as easily, and the limits for all people over age 64 are no more than 1 drink a day and 7 per week. In addition, there are people such as children, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions who should not drink any alcohol.
Want to Know More? Your VA health care team can help if you have questions about limiting alcohol. If you are concerned about your drinking, talk with them. They can help you reduce risky drinking. Alcohol dependence can be treated. Effective treatments include individual counseling, group treatments, medications to reduce craving or prevent relapse, and inpatient or residential treatment.
Consult the Veterans Health Library
http://www.veteranshealthlibrary.va.gov/ The Veterans Health Library (VHL) offers Veterans, their families, and caregivers 24/7 internet access to comprehensive, Veteran-focused health information that’s consistent with VA clinical practice. Its information, resources, and tools are engaging, “Veteran-friendly,” and written in plain language. VHL helps Veterans understand and manage health problems, make informed health decisions, and actively partner with their health care teams. Items within the VHL on Limit Alcohol:
VetChange—a free and confidential online program for Veterans and active duty military who are concerned about their drinking.
Alcohol and Hepatitis C—Use this interactive guide to learn what you need to know about hepatitis C and alcohol use, including alcohol's effect on liver scarring, viral load, and response to treatment.
Drugs, Alcohol, and HIV—Use this interactive guide if you are HIV positive to learn what alcohol and other "recreational" drugs will do to your body.
Additional resources and web-based tools
(Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by NCP or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred.)
Stop. If you want to stop drinking or using drugs, consider the cognitive-behavioral program called SMART Recovery (www.smartrecovery.org). SMART Recovery is an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous (www.aa.org). Both help people abstain from alcohol with help from mutual support groups.