early detection

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A phrase describing prompt identification of incipient or early disease and, by implication, intervention to arrest, treat, and cure it in a timely manner; and the early detection of environmental, social, and behavioral hazards to health. Methods of early detection include questionnaires, interviews, physical examinations, screening tests, procedures and equipment for environmental monitoring, e.g., of drinking water, indoor air quality, ionizing radiation levels. Early detection is an important role of primary care physicians, who can use many opportunities that arise in the course of incidental and continuing care of patients to conduct simple screening tests for early evidence of serious conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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