Doctor giving patient OK in Health Screening

Screening: Health Benefits and What to Expect

Health screening is an effective way to detect a particular condition or disease early, even when there haven’t been any signs or symptoms of that disease.  Early detection means getting the right treatment at the right time, which gives you better control over your health.  The first time the benefits of screening for disease prevention were demonstrated was in the 1940s s by the use of mass miniature radiography (MMR) for the identification of individuals with tuberculosis (TB).  By the end of the second world war, effective treatment for TB was introduced and the use of MMR became widespread in many western countries this showing the benefits.  Therefore, it is essential to get yourself screened. 

Benefits of Health Screening

Health screenings should be a priority for everyone in order to ensure their optimal health.  Here are some of the main benefits of health screening:

  • It helps in identifying if you are at risk or have any condition or disease that you don’t know about.
  • Early detection of diseases results in better management and treatment of the disease, which decreases the risk of complications and increases the chances of better health outcomes.
  • Age is one of the major risk factors for various life-altering disorders but with the option of early detection and treatment, your body can have the best defense against these diseases.
  • If you have a family history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or stroke, then health screening can help you with the process of prevention and provide you with timely treatments.

If you are under 30 years of age, then it is recommended to get a screening done once every two years.  For individuals 30 years and above, a yearly health screening is highly recommended.  Moreover, for individuals over 50, more screening tests are conducted that are age-related.

Things to Expect from Health Screening

Before you go in for health screening, it is important to understand the process so you are better prepared.  Here are some of the tests that are commonly conducted during health screenings:

  • Blood Pressure Test – This is one of the most important tests your physician will conduct.  In case your blood pressure is tested high, you may have to undergo further tests to detect the cause.
  • Cholesterol Tests – If you are obese, frequently drink alcohol or smoke, your doctor will check your cholesterol level.
  • Diabetes Test – If your blood pressure is high as well as your cholesterol level, or you have a family history of diabetes then you will be checked for diabetes.
  • Mammograms, Osteoporosis and Pap Smear Tests – These tests are conducted for prevention of breast cancers and cervical cancers, along with other disorders that affect women.
  • Colorectal Cancer – For individuals above 50 years of age, with inherited mutations or gene defects, inflammatory bowel disorder, and colorectal polyps, this test is highly recommended.
  • Prostate Cancer Tests – Men who have higher levels of testosterone, are obese, and/or are above 50 years of age must get themselves tested for prostate cancer.
  • STDs – For individuals who are sexually active, especially with more than one sexual partner, these screenings are highly recommended. 

Typically, a health screening session may take about 30 minutes or half a day, depending on how many tests the doctor wants to conduct as per your situation.  Other common tests include blood tests, x-rays, urinalysis, and fecalysis. Early detection of any disease or condition can help to prevent it from advancing into a chronic disorder.  Moreover, complications can also be avoided through health screenings.  This means you can also avoid mortality and morbidity, as well as higher treatment costs later on.