Health screening helps you find out if you have a particular condition or disease before you feel unwell. Early detection will allow for better treatment and control of the condition and lowers the risk of serious complications.
As we grow older, it's important that we go for regular health screenings, even when we feel perfectly well. The tests will detect signs of possible illnesses even before there are any symptoms. This is crucial, as many conditions such as cancer do not cause any symptoms at the early stages.
Early detection from screenings will help doctors treat your condition in a timely manner and lower the chances of you becoming seriously ill. Conditions that you should screen for depends on your age, gender and medical or family history.
Below are some common conditions you are recommended to regularly screen for:
Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and certain cancers. These risks can be managed by reducing obesity through diet control and physical activity.
Screening for obesity is recommended for people aged 18 and above. Screening involves height and weight measurement and the calculation of Body Mass Index (BMI). Individuals are advised to get screened for obesity at least once a year.
Diabetes, Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
These are the three that are major causes of heart diseases, stroke and kidney diseases, blindness and limb amputations. During the early stages, these conditions may not cause any symptoms. It is therefore important to screen for these conditions to allow for early detection, management and prevention through changes in diet, exercise or medications.
Screening for hypertension is recommended for people aged 18 and above, and involves measuring your blood pressure. Individuals are advised to be screened for hypertension at least once every two years, or more frequently if advised by the doctor.
Diabetes and cholesterol screening is recommended for people aged 40 and above, and involves doing a blood test. Individuals are advised to be screened at least once every three years, or more frequently if advised by the doctor.
Colorectal Cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women.
Colorectal cancer screening is recommended for people aged 50 and above. Screening involves either doing a testing of the faeces for blood every year or doing a scope in the colon every 10 years.
Cervical Cancer is the 10th most common cancer in women.
Cervical cancer screening is recommended for women aged 25 to 69 years who have had sexual intercourse. Screening involves a PAP smear once every three years for women aged 25 to 29 years and a HPV test every five years for women aged 30 to 69.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women.
Breast Cancer screening is recommended for women aged 50 to 69 years. Screening involves a mammogram once every two years.
- Article contributed by Preventive Health & Occupational Medicine -