Health Screening Guide: What Tests Should I Do?

Health Screening Guide: What Tests Should I Do

Health Screening involves various diagnostic and screening tests. The question is, what tests should one opt for without exhausting your insurance or bank account, and how often should one undergo health screening?

While health screening is useful for early detection and screening for health conditions, a one-time screening will only reflect health conditions that are present at that time of screening. Regular health screening is advocated to screen for health conditions that may develop over the years after the previous screening.

Here are some guides to assist you choosing your health screening tests and timing your screening schedule prudently.

Screening Tests that are recommended for Everyone (Men and Women).

Age

Screening Tor

Screening Tests

Frequency of Screening

Age 18 and above

Hypertension

Blood pressure measurement

Every 2 years or more recommended by your doctor

Obesity

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Fat Percentage

Waist Circumference

Every year

Age 40 and above

Hyperlipidemia

Fasting lipids

Every 3 years or more recommended by your doctor

Diabetes Mellitus

Fasting blood glucose

HbA1C

Every 3 years or more recommended by your doctor

Age 50 and above

Colorectal Cancer

Fecal Occult Blood

Every year

Colonoscopy

Every 10 years or as recommended by your doctor

Screening Tests that are recommended for All Women (in addition to the above).

Age

Screening For

Screening Tests

Frequency of Screening

Age 25-69, who are sexually active before

Cervical Cancer

Pap smear

Every 3 years or more recommended by your doctor

HPV test

Every 5 years

Age 40-49

Breast Cancer

Mammogram

Every year

Age 50-69

Breast Cancer

Mammogram

Every 2 years

Screening Tests that are Specific to certain Health Conditions.

Screening For

Targeted Population

Screening Tests

Frequency of Screening

Anemia

  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Thalassemia

Full Blood Count

-Pregnant ladies: during first prenatal visit

-Non-pregnant ladies: once before pregnancy

  • Pregnant ladies
  • Non-pregnant ladies of child bearing age
  • Full Blood Count
  • Iron Studies
  • Pregnant ladies
  • Family history of thalassemia
  • Full Blood Count
  • Thalassemia screen

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Men age 65-75 who smoke before

Ultrasound Abdomen

As recommended by your doctor

Breast Cancer

Women with BRCA high risk gene

MRI breasts

Every year

Coronary Artery Disease

Men and Women with intermediate heart disease risk

  • Electrocardiography (ECG)
  • Treadmill Stress Test
  • Apolipoprotein A
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Homocysteine
  • High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs CRP)
  • CT Coronary Calcium Score

As recommended by your doctor

Colorectal Cancer

Men and Women above 50, and not undergoing colonoscopy or stool occult blood

CT Colonography

Every 5 years or as recommended by your doctor

Cerebral Aneurysm

  • History of polycystic kidney disease
  • Strong personal or family history of cerebral bleeding or aneurysm
  • MRI Brain
  • MRA Brain

As recommended by your doctor

Hearing Loss

People who are exposed to loud noises

Audiometry

Every year

Screening For

Targeted Population

Screening Tests

Frequency of Screening

Hepatitis B infection

  • Immigrants from places where Hepatitis B is prevalent
  • Pregnant ladies
  • Hbs Ag blood test
  • Hbs Ab blood test

-Pregnant ladies: during first prenatal visit

-Others: as recommended by your doctor

HIV

  • Those who have high risk sexual behavior
  • Pregnant ladies

HIV screen

  • Pregnant ladies: during first prenatal visit
  • Others: as recommended by your doctor

Intestinal parasitic infections

  • Immigrants from countries with common parasitic infection
  • Travelers who stayed in countries with common parasitic infection for long

Stool tests

As recommended by your doctor

Kidney disorders

  • Smoker, age 50 and above
  • History of hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease
  • Family history of kidney disease

Urine analysis test

As recommended by your doctor

Kidney function test

Every year

Liver cancer
  • History of liver cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis B carrier
  • Ultrasound liver
  • Alpha-feto Protein (AFP)

Every year

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)

Family history of NPC

  • Nasoscopy
  • EPV EA IgA (tumor marker)

As recommended by your doctor

Osteoporosis

High risk individuals with high FRAX or OSTA score

Bone mineral density (BMD)

As recommended by your doctor

Ovarian cancer

Women with BRCA high risk gene

Transvaginal ultrasound

As recommended by your doctor

Screening For

Targeted Population

Screening Tests

Frequency of Screening

Peripheral Vascular Disease

  • History of diabetes
  • Smoker, age 50 and above with hypertension and hyperlipidemia

Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)

As recommended by your doctor

Prostate cancer

  • Men age 50-75
  • Family history of prostate cancer

Prostate specific antigen (PSA)

As recommended by your doctor

Syphilis

  • Those who have high risk sexual behavior
  • Pregnant ladies

Venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL)

  • Pregnant ladies: during first prenatal visit
  • Others: as recommended by your doctor

Thyroid disorders

  • History of immune system disorders
  • Obesity
  • Pregnant ladies

Thyroid function test (TFT)

As recommended by your doctor

Tuberculosis

  • Contact history with people with TB
  • Immigrants from country with high TB prevalence

Chest X-ray

As recommended by your doctor

Addition to general screening tests recommended for everyone, certain tests may be useful for some predisposed group of people. One may have risk factors to certain disease base on a positive family history, social history such as smoking or alcohol, or other pre-existing medical conditions.

While health screening should be comprehensive, it is important to target it base on personal health risks factors, needs and concerns. You may wish to discuss with your doctor before proceeding with various investigations during health screening.

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