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Save your Valuable Life: Conduct these 8 Health Tests


Save your Valuable Life: Conduct these 8 Health Tests

Do you worry about your health condition? With age, it is important to conduct routine health checks and detect any health concerns at an early stage when they are easy to treat. This blogpost discusses about 8 health tests for saving your life. You will be able to spot out serious health ailments before it is too late.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

Abdominal aortic aneurysm or AAA screening helps to check whether there is a swelling or bulge in your aorta. This is main blood vessel which goes from your heart through the abdomen.

What is involved in this screening test?

This screening test involves ultrasound on the stomach. It is reliable, quick and does not involve any pain.

Why is AAA screening test essential?

The aorta pumps blood from your heart around the body. When swelling in the aorta is left to be bigger it could burst and cause life-threatening bleeds inside your stomach. An abdominal aortic aneurysm will not have any symptoms and so, the test may pick up AAA before it bursts.

How often do you need to get checked?

The screening for AAA is provided to men when they are 65 years. AAA screening is offered to men as aneurysms are more common in men. Screening is not routinely provided to women and men below 65 years or who have already been treated for an AAA as the risk of AAA is smaller in these groups. The doctor may suggest to go for a private health check and conduct AAA screening when you need it.

What happens next?

You will be given the result at the end of screening. If there is a problem, then you will be sent a letter stating about further tests and treatment you need to do.

Blood Pressure Tests

Blood pressure is the force that your blood exerts on the walls of your arteries. Common symptoms of low pressure are dizziness and nausea. But high blood pressure seldom has visible symptoms but can cause damage to your artery walls, weaken your heart, lead to kidney disease and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

What is involved in this test?

The GP or nurse uses a cuff which fits around upper arms and can be inflated till it gets tight. The test is quick and takes one minute only. You may even purchase a monitor to use at home.

Why is the test inecessary?

Nearly 66% of men and 71% of women in the age group of 75 and above have high pressure. But many people do not realise it as they usually have no symptoms.

What will happen next?

If the results fall outside of your normal range, then you will have to check it several times. When the blood pressure seems to be constantly high, your GP will discuss how you can lower it.

You are given a blood test to check the risk of developing diabetes and check the functioning of your kidneys. The treatment includes change in your lifestyle and if your blood pressure is extremely high, then you will be given some medication. On the other hand when you have low pressure, your GP may suggest changes in your lifestyle to raise it like making sure you drink sufficient amount of water.

Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel cancer screening will not diagnose cancer though it may detect probable problems before a person has any symptoms.

What can be involved in this screening?

The testing kit known as Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) can be sent through post with proper instructions. You can use it to collect stool sample and then send it to the laboratory for further analysis. You will be able to get the results of the test within 2 weeks.

Screening can be provided in every 2 years to all men and women in the age group of 60 to 74. But it is being rolled out to people over 50 and so, you might get a test before 60 years. People who are above 75 years can request a screening kit.

Why is the screening test necessary?

Bowel cancer is the fourth common cancer in the UK and the sooner it gets detected, the easier it can be treated and the better your chances of surviving it.

What will happen next?

The test will detect for blood traces. When you detect any sign of this, you can discuss the possibility of further tests. This does not mean you are having bowel cancer though you may need to conduct a bowel examination known as a colonoscopy to rule out this possibility. A small percentage of people will show unusual result and will require follow-up tests.

Breast Screening

Routine breast screening is a good way to detect breast cancer at an early stage. The earlier it can be found, the easier it is to treat. The risk is that breast screening can sometimes cause cancer without any symptoms or may be life-threatening. So, you might end up with any unnecessary tests and treatment.

What can be involved in the test?

The X-ray of each breast known as a mammogram will be taken. Each breast can be placed on X-ray machine and is gently compressed with a clear plate. The compression lasts for a few seconds only though some people find this somewhat uncomfortable.

Why is the test necessary?

Nearly 55,500 cases of breast cancer can be found every year in the UK. It is the most common type of cancer for women in the UK. Unlike all cancers, early detection and treatment can increase the chance of surviving it.

How often do you need to get checked?

You will get the first invitation for attending breast screening unit during your 50th birthday. From then, you are invited in every 3 years till your 70th birthday. There are some areas when you will be invited from 47 to 73 years as the NHS is extending the screening programme in the form of a trial.

Though you might not get an invitation for screening when you reach 70 years, you may request a screening in every 3 years. You need to get in touch with a local breast screening service provider and request for an appointment.

What can happen next?

The results are sent to you and your GP, usually 2 weeks after the screening test. Most people get a normal result but some may be asked to go for an assessment clinic to conduct more tests.

Cervical Screening

Cervical screening or smear test can help in preventing cancer by identifying unusualties in the cervix which might cause cervical cancer when you do not treat it on time.

What is involved in the screening?

The doctor or nurse inserts an instrument known as a speculum for opening vagina and use a small soft brush for sweeping around the cervix. Most people find it somewhat uncomfortable though not painful.

Why is the test essential?

Near about 2,700 cases of cervical cancer can be diagnosed each year in the UK.

How often do you need to get it checked?

All women in the age group of 25 to 64 years can be eligible for a cervical screening test for free in every 3-5 years. Women above 65 years are not invited for screening unless they are not screened since 50 years or have had an abnormal test result.

What can happen next?

The doctor or nurse will tell how much time the results will possibly take. Most screening results are normal but this does not necessarily mean you have cancer. Near about 1 in 12 women find the test shows abnormal changes which require further investigation and treatment.

Cholesterol Tests

Cholesterol is a kind of fat being carried around the body in your blood. Having higher levels of cholesterol might build up in the arteries and enhance your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

What can be involved in the test?

You need to check your cholesterol level by visiting a GP or local pharmacist. It involves either a finger-prick test or a blood test.

Why is the test necessary?

High cholesterol does not lead to any symptoms and so, you could have it without knowing. The only way to find out is to conduct a test.

What will happen next?

If you are having high cholesterol, then you may lower it by changing your diet, maintaining healthy weight and doing regular exercise. In the case you are suffering from heart disease or are at risk of developing it, your GP might prescribe cholesterol-lowering medicines like statins.

NHS Health Check

The NHS Health Check is a check-up of your overall health condition for free. It may tell whether you are at greater risk of getting certain health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

What can be involved in the test?

An NHS Health Check requires nearly 20 to 30 minutes.The health professional will ask simple questions about your family history, check your weight and height, take blood pressure, conduct blood test with a small finger-prick test. He will also help to change your lifestyle so that you can improve your health.

Why is the test necessary?

Depending on blood test and the results of your questions, your health professional will give you an idea of your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

If you are above 65 years, then you will be told about the signs and symptoms of dementia to consider. You are also given personalised advice for lessening the risk.

When will you be asked for an NHS health check?

You are asked for an NHS Health Check for free in every 5 years between 40 and 74 years. This is possible when you do not have high pressure, diabetes, kidney ailment, heart disease and stroke.

If you have already registered with the GP surgery which provides NHS Health Check, then you will automatically get an invitation. Do not worry at all in the case you have not been invited yet as you will be over the next 5 years. Also, the local council will send an appointment letter stating where you need to go for the NHS Health Check. If you are eligible for the NHS Health Check or have not received an invitation for the NHS Health Check in the last 5 years, then ask your GP surgery to book an appointment.

Skin Checks

Whether you need to check yourself or go to a clinic, it is important to keep an eye on your moles and detect early signs of skin cancer. Most moles do not cause any harm but sometimes they may develop into a rare type of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma.

What can be involved in it?

When you find a change in the shape, size or colour of your existing mole, ask the GP to look at it and refer you for further testing, if needed.

Why is the test necessary?

Melanoma is the fifth common cancer in the UK with almost 16,700 new cases diagnosed each year. Unlike all types of cancer, early detection and necessary treatment will increase the chance of surviving it.

How often do you need to check your body?

You need to check all your moles in every few weeks and visit the doctor when you find any changes.

What will happen next?

If you come across a suspected mole, then you are referred for further tests and a specialist can decide to cut mole out. In the case it is not a melanoma, you may have to conduct further tests and check the cancer has not spread.

Thus, people generally recover from pneumonia, flu or shingles without any problems. When you have any of these infections in the later stage of life, this may lead to serious health concerns and can be deadly. The best protection is to get vaccinated before it is very late. Feel free to visit our Health Screening Clinic when you suffer from any health problem and need to get tested for your improved condition.