5 FAQs about Health Screening
1. When should I start doing regular health screening?
It is never too early or too late. However, it does become more important as you age or if you have significant family medical history and risk factors.
2. What type of health screening should I choose?
Knowing your family medical history and risk factors helps to determine what type of medical tests you should go for. Different people require different types of screening.
For example, newborns will be screened for hearing loss, errors in metabolism, as well as anaemia for those born prematurely. Adults in general should screen for obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, and diabetes mellitus with additional tests catered for different genders. The elderly should focus more on tests revolving around cardiovascular disease, organ impairment, and cancer detection.
3. How frequent should I go for a health screening?
The frequency is determined by your profile and the condition that you are screening for. Speak to your family physician to determine the screening frequency based on your risk factors. Your doctor will also advise you on how often you should follow up on your condition.
4. “I’m healthy, fit, and have no known medical problems. Why bother?”
Even if you have no known medical problems, health screening helps to determine your current health status. Conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes mellitus, or high cholesterol may not have symptoms at the early stage. When detected early and managed well with appropriate treatment and medication, these conditions have significantly better outcomes and are less likely to deteriorate. Also, most cancers generally have better prognosis if they are detected early.
5. What questions should I ask my doctor?
Questions such as “based on my profile, what type of screening should I select?”, and “what additional tests do I need to do based on my family medical history or risk factors?” Most health screening packages can be tailored for specific conditions. Do not hesitate to raise any medical concerns with your doctor.
Tip: Always keep a copy of your health screening reports so that your doctors can quickly assess your medical history during consultation. Health screening helps to detect conditions such as prediabetes early. This aids in making the necessary lifestyle changes to delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Depending on the type of screening test, some tests may screen for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
During a health screening visit, your doctor will also review your immunisation records and advise you about keeping up-to-date with recommended vaccinations such as influenza vaccination or pneumococcal vaccination.