A major component of health screening involves cancer screening.
For a first-timer, health screening can be daunting, especially when browsing through websites with a myriad of various health screening options and prices. As every patient has different risks and medical needs, the process and tests of a health screening may be tweaked by your physician as you go along for your health checkup.
Health screening is vital in the early detection of various indolent health conditions. Modern lifestyle, stress, and family medical history can predispose a person to different medical conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), gout, diabetes and even cancer.
Health screenings are beneficial in that it allows you to understand your personal health condition, potential risks, and take charge of your health proactively to prevent or lower risk of health ailment. Health screening is essentially actively checking a person inside-out. It should be individualised, thorough, and holistic in approach.
You are expected to consult with your physician on your medical histories and concerns. Your doctor may take into account your family and social history to better understand your individual medical risks. If you have any concerning symptoms, you are encouraged to discuss with your doctor on the day of your health screening so that the doctor can guide you on any tests to address your concerns. At the end of the consultation, you should have an understanding on what tests are necessary for your health screening.
Depending on individual needs, health screening often comprises blood tests, urine tests, and stools tests. In some patients who wish to have a more detailed checkup, imaging tests and heart tests may be added on. Your doctor will discuss with you when is the most suitable time to run through the tests.
Summarising the common components/screening tests of health screening:
You are encouraged to follow-up your health screening test results with your doctor who offered you the tests. A good health screening patches a medical story about a person’s health, allowing you to learn about the strength and weaknesses of your body.
With an insight on your health, hopefully you will be able to take away health advice from your doctor to maintain or even improve your general health.
In certain cases, underlying medical conditions may be diagnosed during the health screening, further intervention with tertiary medical care may be required. Your doctor will guide you through the results and interpretation of your tests during the follow-up review.
If you are confident in results interpretation (for patients who do health screening annually), this is a possible option. Nonetheless, it is never a bad idea to spend a little time in the clinic with your physician to run through the results, as ‘not all results that are within the range are normal, similarly, not all results that are out of the range are abnormal’.
Regular interval health screening is encouraged as our health changes over time. Depending on your health screening results, personal medical risks, your doctor may advise for a shorter interval duration to follow up or monitor certain results. You are encouraged to speak to your doctor regarding the frequency of your individual health screening.