Are You Overdue For A Health Screening?

Health Screening. Here's What You Should Know - DoctorOnCall

Most people know they should go for a health screening every once in a while, but many put it off because they don't have the time or they're afraid of what the results might be. The fact is, though, screenings can help you catch health problems early on when they're easier to treat. And if you do have a problem, catching it early can make a big difference in your health.

Let us bring you more information about health screening so you know what to expect.

1. What is a health screening and why should you get one?

A health screening is a preventive medical exam that helps to identify risk factors and early signs of disease and illness. It can detect health problems at an early stage when they are most treatable. Many health conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, have no symptoms in the early stages.

This means that people may be living with these conditions for years without knowing it. Health screenings can help to lessen the impact of these conditions by allowing people to make lifestyle changes or start treatment before serious complications develop.

2. What types of health screenings are available

There are many different types of screening tests available, depending on your age, gender, and family history. For example, all adults should get screened for high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Women of childbearing age should get screened for birth defects, and all women over the age of 50 should get mammograms to screen for breast cancer. Men over the age of 50 should get prostate exams. Other common screenings include colon cancer screenings and skin cancer screenings.

These tests may involve using a machine to get your body mass index, blood investigation, urine tests, a swab test, imaging like x-ray or ultrasound and other procedures.

3. Who should get a health screening and how often?

Regular health screenings are an important part of preventive care. But who should get screened and how frequent do you need to? The answer may depend on factors such as your age, family history, and lifestyle.

For example, people over the age of 50 should get screened for colorectal cancer, while women of childbearing age should be screened for cervical cancer. If you have a family history of certain conditions, such as heart disease or breast cancer, you may need to start screenings at a younger age or have them more often.

And if you smoke or are overweight, you may be at increased risk for certain health problems and will need to be screened more frequently.

4. What happens if you don't get a health screening?

Many people avoid it because they are afraid of what they might find out. Others may think that they are healthy and do not need to be screened.

However, not getting a health screening can put you in danger. Why?

First, many health conditions do not have symptoms in their early stages. This means that someone could be living with a potentially serious condition without even knowing it.

Second, the earlier a problem is detected, the easier it is to treat. By the time symptoms appear, a condition may be much more difficult - or even impossible - to treat effectively.

Finally, health screening tests can help to catch problems early, before they have a chance to become serious.

5. How to prepare for a health screening

How do you prepare for a screening? To prepare for one, you need to know what types of screenings are available and which one you need. Your doctor can help you determine which screenings are right for you based on your age, sex, family history, and other risk factors. Once you know which test is for you, you can start making preparations. Most procedures can be done on the same day, subject to availability.

For some screenings, like blood tests, you may need to fast and are only allowed to drink plain water for a certain period before the test. Other tests, like mammograms or colonoscopies, may require some lifestyle changes in the days leading up to the procedure. For example, you may need to avoid eating high-fibre foods before a colonoscopy.

One also should wear loose-fitting clothes so the procedure can be done easily. For example, blood taking may need you to roll up your sleeves. In mammograms and other imaging tests, you may need to change out of your clothes and wear a designated gown during the procedure.

Make sure you also have a list of all the medications you are taking, as well as any allergies you have. It is also important to know your family medical history, as this can help your doctor to assess your risk for certain conditions. Be sure to ask your doctor which tests you will be undergoing, and what the results could mean. 

6. What to expect during a health screening

Many people don't know what to expect when they go in for a health screening. During the session, the attending doctor or a nurse will usually take a medical history and ask about any symptoms you may be experiencing. They may also do a basic physical examination and check your vital signs.

Depending on the type of screening, you may also need to provide a urine or blood sample. Some other tests, such as a Pap smear, may require special procedures to get the samples needed.

But in general, screenings are quick, easy and can give you peace of mind knowing that you're taking steps to stay healthy.

7. How to interpret your health screening results

Here are some tips to help you understand your health screening results:

  • Ask your doctor for an interpretation. They will be able to explain what the results mean in relation to your individual health during consultation.

  • Look up the meaning of any unfamiliar terms. There is a lot of medical jargon associated with health screenings, so it can be helpful to do some research.

  • Consider your family history. If you have a family history of a particular condition, that may impact the meaning of your results.

  • Ask about follow-up testing. In some cases, additional testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis.

  • Remember that health screenings are just one tool for assessment. If something came up, not necessarily mean that you have the condition in question. Don't panic.

8. What to do if you have an abnormal health screening result

An abnormal test result on a health screening report can be a cause for concern. However, it is important to remember that many conditions can be detected early through screening, and treatment is often more successful when started early. If you receive an abnormal result, the first step is to talk to your doctor. They will be able to give you more information about what the result means and what next steps you should take. In some cases, further testing may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. In other cases, the abnormal result may simply be a false positive. Regardless of the cause, it is important to follow up on your result so that you can get the information and care that you need.

9. Key takeaways on health screenings

It’s important to stay on top of your health and get screenings as recommended by your doctor. Here are some key takeaways about health screenings:

  • It helps detect health problems early when they are often more treatable.

  • Not all screenings are right for everyone – talk to your doctor about which ones are right for you, based on your age, health history, and family history.

  • Some procedures require special preparation, such as fasting before a blood test. Be sure to follow any instructions from your doctor or the testing facility.

Staying on top of your health is crucial to maintaining your well-being. By getting recommended screenings, you can catch health problems early and get the treatment you need.

Book an appointment with DoctorOnCall for a health screening today! We offered many health screening packages from different providers. We would be happy to help you get the care you need.

*The free doctor consult initiative is supported and fully funded by DoctorOnCall