Basic versus Comprehensive Health Screening
Health screening can help you identify a medical condition or specific disease. This is extremely important as not all diseases display symptoms that can be treated at an early stage.
It may be quite difficult to decide if you need health screening. Most health screening packages cover certain conditions that can be screened easily and are important to your health.
Obesity is ahealth issue that is affecting many. You can get it checked by measuring your weight and height. Screening tests are accurate and not usually very invasive. Health Screenings usually involve conducting tests for blood, stool, urine and radiological investigations such as ultrasound and X-ray. Other invasive tests like biopsies won’t normally be performed.
Talk to your GP about the different screening packagesavailable at different screening clinics. There are both basic and comprehensive health screenings available.
Basic Health Screening
A basic health screening is the physical examination done by your private GP andbio-physical measurements include – weight, height, body mass index, visual acuity, blood, urine investigations and colour vision.
Blood tests help withscreening for:
- Blood sugar levels
- Liver function
- Blood count
- Kidney function
- Cholesterol levels
Blood tests usually screen blood counts andidentify conditions like anaemia, unusual clotting factors, sugar levels, abnormal immune cells, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function. Urine tests helps to check for any kind of urine infection, sugar, protein or blood in the urine.
Different screening clinics may provide the chest x-ray that detects any kind of abnormalities of lung or electrocardiogram (ECG) that is ascreening test to detect heart diseases.
These basic packages will require from30 minutes to 2 hours. Young patients without any medical background and hereditary illnesses may choose these packages that can be performed from once a year to once every 3 years.
About Comprehensive Health Screening
For comprehensive health screening packages, the blood test is done to screen for different conditions such as:
- Thyroid hormone level
- Sexually transmitted illness and diseases
- Cancer markers
- Hepatitis A screening
- Hepatitis B screening
- ABO blood group
A stool test may be done to identify the presence of blood in thestool, which is the screening test for detecting colon cancer. Blood in the stool may be due to various other conditions such as piles.
A Pap smear is done for women who are in the age group of 25 to 65 years and have had intercourse. This may be used for cervical cancer screening that is usually done every 3 years, as suggested by the doctor.
Bone mineral density or BMD is the test in which X-rays are usedto detect for osteoporosis. This is the condition where bones become fragile which increases the risk of fracture. It is suggested for all women who are 65 and also in other people who have specific risk factors. Speak with your doctor about osteoporosis testing. If yourrisk is moderate or high, visit your doctor for osteoporosis screening.
A mammogram or ultrasound is suggested for all women who are 40 years and overfor the detection of breast cancer and other breast related conditions. Women who are between 40 and 73 years should go for health screening tests yearly. Screening is usually recommended in every 2 years for women who are 50 and above.
Other radiological tests consist of the following:
- Ultrasound of abdomen for conditions of the kidneys, liver and gall bladder
- Ultrasound of pelvis for women for conditions of the ovaries and womb
- Ultrasound of thyroid for conditions of thyroid gland
There are other tests offered at different clinics. The duration of a comprehensive health screening is based on the number of tests performed and may take somewhere between 1 hour to 1 day.
Your private GP may refer you to a specialist if your test results are abnormal.