What Health Screenings Should You Get?
Although regular health screenings bring many benefits, the overall screening coverage decreased slightly from 66.4% in 2017 to 63.0% in 2020, according to National Population Health Survey. Even if you feel perfectly well and have no symptoms or indications of illness, health screenings are still necessary to enhance your own health and to guarantee that you live a healthy lifestyle.
What is health screening?
Health screening is an effective method of identifying conditions that may develop into the disease at some point in the future, allowing for earlier intervention and management in the hope of reducing disease mortality and suffering.
Why are health screenings important?
Health screenings are an essential component of staying healthy, especially as you become older. Many deaths may be avoided if people had routine medical checkups as prescribed by their doctor.
Health screenings can uncover abnormalities at an early stage when the chance for effective treatment is highest. For example, colon cancer is the most preventable kind of cancer, although few symptoms often appear early in the disease’s progression. A regular inspection can detect and remove a colon polyp before it turns cancerous.
When you have the recommended health screenings, you’re taking a simple but crucial step toward a better quality of life.
Preparation for health screenings
To ensure the accurate results of health screenings, you need to follow the preparations:
- Prior to the check-up, get at least 6 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation can result in abnormalities in blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. The doctor may be unable to determine whether any change is truly abnormal.
- Eat or drink nothing for at least 8 – 10 hours before the check-up. Water, on the other hand, is freely consumed to prevent dehydration effects on the program’s blood sugar and cholesterol tests.
- Please avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before your visit, since drugs and alcohol may interfere with several tests.
- If you are taking hypertension medication, you should continue to take it as prescribed by your doctor. Check with your doctor to see if you may delay your regular morning prescription until your blood sample is obtained.
- If you have a chronic disease or other health issues, please bring any test results or medical reports to help with diagnosis.
- Females should avoid 7 days before and after their menstrual cycle. Please notify the nurses upon arrival if you are menstruation on the day of your visit. You will be unable to do your urine, stool, and PAP smear tests since the presence of blood would result in false findings.
What health screenings should I get?
Your doctor will give screening recommendations based on the following criteria: gender, age, and health. Risk factors increase the probability of contracting an illness. They may include a family history of cancer, such as having a close member with the disease, as well as lifestyle choices like smoking. People with a family history of early coronary artery disease, for example, should get their cholesterol test.
Moreover, if a woman is pregnant, she may be checked for genetic and other problems that may damage her or her baby.
Here are some suggestions for health screenings based on gender that you can consider:
1. Blood pressure test
If your blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), you should get it tested at least once every two years beginning at the age of 20. Annual screenings are suggested for persons aged 40 and above and those with disorders such as obesity that place them at risk of hypertension.
2. Cholesterol level test
This is a tool for determining your risk of acquiring heart disease or a stroke. If you’re 20 or older, you should get your cholesterol checked at least once every five years. If you are at risk for heart disease or stroke, consult your doctor to determine how often you should get this blood test.
3. PAP smear test
A PAP smear should be performed every three years beginning at the age of 21 and continuing until the age of 65. If you’re 30 or older, you can get the test every five years if you combine it with an HPV screening, which is a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.
4. Breast cancer test
Check for breast cancer involves squeezing the breast between plates and capturing X-ray pictures. There has long been debate regarding when and how often a woman should have them, given that the risk of breast cancer grows with age and that false positives from regular screening may do more harm than benefit. Women should have a breast cancer test every two years beginning at the age of 50.
5. Blood glucose test
Women should get a blood glucose test every three years beginning at the age of 45 to monitor for diabetes or prediabetes. If you are obese and have a family history of diabetes, you should start sooner and get examined more frequently.
1. Aortic aneurysm in the abdomen
Men aged 65 to 75 who have previously smoked should check for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. A computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasonography, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination can assist in determining the existence, size, and extent of an aortic aneurysm. The most serious risk of this aortic bulge is a rupture, which might result in severe or deadly internal bleeding.
2. Blood cholesterol
All males aged 35 and up should get their blood cholesterol levels examined on a regular basis. Men who smoke, are overweight or obese, have a relative who had a heart attack before the age of 50, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disease should get their cholesterol examined at the age of 20.
3. Blood pressure
Every male should have his blood pressure monitored on a regular basis, and those with additional cardiovascular risk factors should have it checked even more frequently. High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease and a substantial risk factor for numerous serious health problems.
4. Colon cancer
By the age of 50, all males should check for colorectal (colon or rectal) cancer. People who have a family history of colorectal cancer should obtain a colonoscopy as soon as possible. There are various tests that can aid in the detection of colon cancer, but colonoscopy remains the gold standard.
When should I consider getting a health screening?
Young people under 30 years old should have health screenings every two years, an annual PAP smear test, and monthly breast self-examinations if there is no strong family history of cancer or early heart disease. Adults over the age of 30 should get an annual health screening. Many diseases, such as diabetes and high blood cholesterol, have no early warning signs or symptoms.
Therefore, planning your health screening ahead of time can improve your quality of life and your health.
What should I do after health screenings?
If your screening results are normal, you should continue to have frequent screenings. When you experience any signs or symptoms following your test, please contact your doctor immediately and do not wait for your next screening appointment.
If your screening results are abnormal, you should consult your doctor. Early treatment and effective control of your illness can improve results and avoid severe problems.
About MaNaDr health screening
MaNaDr health screening offers 3 packages: Essential, Comprehensive and Extensive packages. Here are the screening tests included in each package:
- Essential health screening package: Blood analysis, cardiac screening, stool and urine analysis, tumor markers screen
- Comprehensive health screening package: Blood analysis, cardiac screening, stool and urine analysis, tumor markers screen, STD panel
- Extensive health screening package: Blood analysis, cardiac screening, stool and urine analysis, tumor markers screen, hormone panel