Why Health ScreeningWilly William
WHAT IS A HEALTH SCREENING TEST?
A screening test is used to detect potential diseases or health disorders in those people who don’t have any symptom of the disease. The main goal of screening tests is the early detection of the disease to reduce the possible risk and to treat the disease effectively.
Screening tests are not considered as diagnostic tests because the individuals should have additional examination and testing to determine the presence or absence of the disease. Health screening includes laboratory tests, radiology scans, physical examinations and medical assessments by medical professional.
WHY SCREENING TESTS ARE IMPORTANT?
Health screening is an important part of preventive health care to:
1. Find medical conditions or disease: The main goal of health screening is to find diseases or medical conditions at an early stage while their treatment is feasible, easy and less expensive. American Cancer Society states that health screening can find or even prevent up to half of new cancer cases.
2. Learn about your risk factors for disease: Screening tests may reveal risk factors which is a behaviour or health condition that put us at risk for disease. For example, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity are the risk factors that may lead to certain diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases or cancer. Knowing about our risk factors allows us to make lifestyle changes that prevent the diseases they may lead to.
3. Track your health: The history of the health screening results provides a track record of medical information which can be helpful for the doctor.
WHAT ARE COMMON SCREENING TESTS?
By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices and risk factors towards certain disease impact what and how often you need healthcare. For general purposes, many healthcare providers suggest the following:
- General Blood and Urine Tests (include Cholesterol and Diabetes Screen)
- Cancers Screening (include Breast Cancer for female and Prostate Cancer for men)
- Cardiovascular Risks Assessment
- Overweight and obesity
WHAT CAN BLOOD TESTS DETECT?
In general, blood tests look for or measure specific markers that provide information that help medically evaluate a person’s health status.
- Discover proteins, bacteria, antigens or other substances that indicate various infections, diseases or cancers.
- Measure levels of critical hormones to assess the function of glands, organs and bodily systems.Placing blood on slide for testing
- Measure the blood level of certain body chemicals to assess the health of the heart and circulatory system.
- Analyze and measure blood cells to detect conditions like anemia and other blood-related diseases and conditions.
- Assess nutritional status, measuring levels of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
- Screen for and/or monitor diabetes and other metabolic syndromes.
- Detect genetic issues that threaten or directly impact health, among many other detection purposes.
Most routine diagnostic lab tests require a blood sample. It’s a brief, generally painless experience (a quick sting or less discomfort level) but it often causes anxiety, especially for those who are needle-phobic or don’t like the sight of blood.
For general purposes, many healthcare providers suggest the following:
1. Diabetes Screening – According to American Diabetes Association (ADA), all adults should get themselves screened for diabetes starting at 45 years of age regardless of their weight. Moreover, individuals without any symptom of diabetes should be screened if they are obese or overweight or if they have one or more risk factors of developing the condition.
2. Liver Function – shows if the liver is functioning properly and if any inflammation is present; can monitor changes in liver function when medications are administered. This group of tests can be used to detect the presence of liver disease, distinguish among different types of liver disorders, gauge the extent of known liver damage, and follow the response to treatment.
3. Kidney Function – establishes current health status of the kidneys. If kidney disease is found and treated early, can help slow or even stop it from getting worse. Most people with early kidney disease do not have symptoms. One in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease
4. Full Lipid Panel – screens for the presence of high cholesterol levels which can lead to coronary heart disease. Cholesterol is a wax like substance that is found in all parts of the body and it helps in the production of some hormones, cell membranes and vitamin D. Cholesterol in the blood comes from two sources, the foods we eat and its production in the liver. Cholesterol and other fats are transported in the blood in the form of spherical particles, which are called as lipoproteins. The two most common lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad cholesterol” and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good cholesterol”.
5. Gout Screening – Uric acid is a chemical compound that is created when the body breaks down purine compounds. It is useful in the diagnosis and treatment of gout.
6. Infectious Diseases Screen – The importance of sexual health has increasingly recognized. Common sexual transmitted diseases are covered in the package including Hepatitis B and C Screening, Syphilis and HIV test.
7. Complete Blood Count (CBC) – also known as CBC with Differential, this is a panel of tests often used for broad screening purposes to determine general health. It can also screen for a number of conditions and diseases, including anemia, leukemia and infection, as well as monitor treatment effectiveness. White blood cells (WBC) (fight infection), red blood cells (RBC) (transport oxygen throughout the body) and platelets (cell fragments vital for blood clotting) are all measured for normal ranges. A white blood cell differential identifies and counts the numbers and types of white blood cells present. Note: a recent blood transfusion can affect the results of a CBC.
8. Urine FEME – Urine is produced by the kidneys from blood flowing through it. It therefore reflects conditions in the blood, kidneys and urinary tract.
If you are under the care of a physician, ask which tests are best for you that match your current healthcare status.