Chapter 2
  1. Major Medical Conditions:

  2. Prevention, Detection, and Treatment


Ask someone what they fear most, and if they think for a few seconds, they’ll probably tell you that they dread the prospect of developing a major illness, like heart disease, stroke, or cancer.

Yet if you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend a lot of time worrying about a major illness–how you’ll survive, how you’ll pay the bills, how your family will manage, or whether or not you’ll be able to get around the way you’re accustomed to. Mostly, you just keep your fingers crossed or pray you’ll never have to deal with debilitating medical problems.

A little thought now–and some simple preventive action–can help head off major diseases, though. At the very least, detecting a problem early can save you lots of time, money, and pain–perhaps even save your life. And if you do develop a major medical condition, knowing something about your treatment options can help you minimize its negative impact on your health, your lifestyle, and your finances. (Needless to say, professional medical advice is not only useful and wise at every stage of disease, it’s often essential. Consult your doctor if you develop a problem.)

This chapter gives capsule descriptions of 28 major medical conditions and explains what you can do about them. Think of this section as a map to guide you through the medical maze that can confront you if you develop a health problem.