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Understanding Health Screening

Graphical representation of two nurses working with various clinical test equipment such as microscope, test tubes, note pad for testing like urinalysis, blood testing and blood pressre screening.
Anderson Team
August 25, 2022
Est. Reading: 6 minutes

Health Screenings and Their Role in Promoting Good Health

Preventive health care is the most effective defence against many diseases. It helps you maintain a better quality of living because of the number of illnesses, treatments, and side effects you do away with. Health screening is a major aspect of preventive health care that helps detect certain diseases earlier and a better chance of effective treatment and recovery. This can be especially beneficial as you age and your body starts to degenerate and lose some of its immunity.

So, you must keep up with the recommended list of screenings for your health. This is a simple step you can take to improve your chances of long-term good health and improved living. Health screenings have different functions at different stages of life. Let's discuss health screenings in detail and understand their importance for good health.

What are health screenings?

Health screenings are a sequence of tests performed by doctors or technicians using specialised equipment at hospitals or other medical facilities.

Depending on biological factors like sex, age, and health history, the doctor or medical professional may recommend screening for one or more of the following health conditions:

  • Blood pressure variations
  • Conditions related to blood cholesterol
  • Diabetic factors
  • Bone and joint conditions like osteoporosis
  • Body Mass conditions like obesity
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health considerations
  • Cancers of different types

What are health screenings used for?

Healthcare professionals perform health screenings for several reasons. Some of these include:

  • A health condition registering a high enough number of cases to justify the cost of performing health screens on a large group of people.
  • The screening will significantly affect a patient's life expectancy and quality of life.
  • A patient has a condition that needs screening to look for acceptable treatment methods.
  • A patient is suffering from a condition which is in an early enough stage not to register any symptoms but would benefit from health screenings in the long-term by early detection and medical treatment.

Health Screening Recommended by Physicians: Why Are They Necessary?

Screening for lifestyle diseases

Lifestyle diseases are becoming increasingly and alarmingly common. The smartest move for anyone today would be to stay healthy and go for regular screenings.

1. Abnormalities in blood cholesterol levels

Cholesterol screenings should be conducted from the age of forty-five for women and thirty-five for men. However, it can be monitored earlier if you have higher chances to develop abnormalities. People who develop cholesterol levels in the higher ranges are at higher risk of heart-related ailments.

2. Discrepancies in blood pressure

Those with high blood pressure readings above the 130/80 mark must change their lifestyle to prevent heart disease later. A blood pressure screening is necessary as it usually does not show any major symptoms and the only way to detect it is by measuring it. Undetected high blood pressure increases the chances of stroke and heart disease.

3. Heart diseases like atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is when the walls of the arteries or blood vessels thicken and risk developing into blocks that may cause heart attacks. People who are obese, those who smoke, have been diagnosed with hypertension, or those with lifestyle diseases like diabetes are therefore, encouraged to go for regular screenings,

4. Obesity

Body Mass Index, or BMI, needs to be monitored and kept in check if you want to maintain your health. BMI screening is important since excess weight can lead to several health conditions like heart ailments and lifestyle diseases.

5. Bone health conditions like osteoporosis

Experts recommend that women over 65 get regular bone-density examinations to detect osteoporosis early on. Those who are lighter on the weighing scale may need to get tested more frequently. These tests are usually recommended to prevent incidents of fractures later in life, particularly in women who are in the post-menopause stage.

Screening for cancer

Cancer is one of the most feared diseases today. It can be caused by a combination of environmental factors and genetics. There are greater chances for healing and remission when the cancer is detected early.

1. Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer screening aims to detect any early signs of the presence of cancer in the body so that treatment can give the most benefit. Success in treatment is usually calculated as the five-year survival rate, and studies show that earlier detection has been linked with over a ninety percent chance of the five-year survival period, while a later detection could bring it down to less than twenty-five percent.

2. Cervical cancer

Health screens, or pap smears of the uterine cervix can help detect cancer and other abnormalities or medical conditions. Experts recommend that women between 21 to 65 years get regular pap smears every 1 to 3 years, depending on how sexually active they have been. Such regular screening can dramatically reduce the number of deaths caused by cervical and other cancers.

3. Breast cancer

Mammograms are the most common screening tests used to detect breast cancer in women. Doctors and experts usually recommend beginning breast cancer screening around the age of forty, but earlier if there is a history of this cancer in the family or there are signs of other risk factors.

4. Prostate cancer

Men are encouraged to have themselves screened for prostate cancer when they cross forty-five to fifty years. Screening helps detect prostrate cancer in some men who would otherwise never exhibit symptoms in their lifetime. Early detection can help these men benefit from treatment.

5. Colorectal cancer

People with a genetic possibility for colorectal cancer and those who suffer from lifestyle diseases like diabetes are at higher risk of developing the disease. Medical professionals recommend routine screening for early detection so that any disease development can be managed effectively.

Screening for Kidney Diseases

People suffering from conditions like hypertension or diabetes or those with a family history of kidney ailments have a high-risk medical profile for kidney ailments. The following screening tests are offered for routine kidney screening:

  • Measuring creatinine levels in the body through blood tests.
  • BP checks and testing of urine samples for protein levels.
  • Ultrasonography and MRI scans are provided when medical professionals find signs of ailments like polycystic disorders.

Screening for kidney-related conditions is important, especially for those known to be at high risk for such diseases. Early detection can help manage the disease so that it doesn't progress to chronic levels, at which stage it could be difficult to manage.

Also Read: Role of PET Scans in Reducing the Cost of Cancer Treatment

Benefits of Health Screening

Health screening is now a highly recommended part of medical check-ups for the general public. It has become a very useful tool for detecting medical conditions early on. Here are a few other benefits of regular health screening:

  • Spotting 'sleeping' symptoms

Identifying 'sleeping' symptoms, or health risks early enough that haven't yet manifested as identifiable symptoms of a disease is one of the greatest advantages of getting health screen tests.

  • Early Diagnosis

Health screenings give people the benefit of early detection and management of health conditions so that they need not progress to any level of complication. When health conditions are detected early, treatment and management can be handled much better.

  • Improvement in lifestyle

Health screenings encourage the patient to adopt a healthier lifestyle by exercising more or adopting a healthier diet when they observe that their health profile can use improvement. It gives the person greater control over how their body functions.

  • Benefits to mental health

Many people put themselves into mental health illness, or discomfort, by worrying about possible health issues. Screenings can put your mind at ease, especially when there are hereditary conditions that you are afraid you could contract.

  • Focus on Crucial Areas

A health screening allows a doctor to focus specifically on those health issues that the patient might likely contract and not get distracted by those they need not be concerned about.

  • Reliability and Cost-effectiveness of Screening

With all the advancements in screening equipment and technology, health screenings have attained a high level of accuracy and effectiveness. A careful assessment will show that investment in recommended health screenings will also save you a lot of money in the long term since any health conditions can be detected early and with effective treatment.

Conclusion

Health screening is a tool that modern medicine has given us to diagnose diseases before they are far advanced and difficult to manage. Staying informed and aware is the best defence against advanced disease. Use the health screening tool to keep yourself healthy and active for longer.

At Anderson Diagnostics, the best diagnostic centre in Chennai, we provide diagnostic health screening facilities to help you stay on top of your health and fitness.

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