A health screening is the first step toward better health. Early detection and intervention pave the way for early treatment, potentially reducing future complications and treatment costs.
Dr. Ang Geok Lian of Alvernia Health Screening explains why it is important to be proactive and take the first step toward primary prevention with regular health screening.
What is health screening?
Health screening involves the use of a patient’s history, physical examinations and tests to detect disease early in people who look or feel well.
I feel well. Why do I need to go for a health screening?
A health-screening determines whether or not you have a specific disease or condition. You may not always exhibit symptoms or signs of disease.
Early detection, treatment, and control of the condition can result in a favourable outcome and reduce the risk of serious complications.
Certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes, take time to develop and, if detected early, can be managed more effectively, with fewer complications and better long-term outcomes.
Cancer begins slowly, and by the time a patient experiences pain, bloating, or an obvious lump, the cancer may have progressed to an advanced stage.
A person who exercises on a regular basis and maintains a healthy diet is more likely to avoid cancer and other chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Cancer, on the other hand, is sometimes completely unexpected.
Nonsmokers, for example, account for 10% to 15% of lung cancer cases, particularly among Asian women. That is why, even if you feel perfectly healthy, you should get screened.
When should a person consider getting a health screening?
We encourage young adults under 30 years old to have health screenings every two years, a yearly PAP smear test, and monthly breast self-examinations if there is no significant family history of cancer or early heart disease.
Adults over the age of 30 should have a yearly health-screening. Many diseases, such as diabetes and high blood cholesterol, have no early warning signs or symptoms. Planning your health-screening ahead of time can improve your quality of life and, ultimately, your health.
Why do I need to go for health screening at recommended frequencies?
A health screening will only pick up health conditions that are present at the time of screening. Regular screening helps to detect conditions that may develop after the previous screening.
That is why it is important to go for screenings at the recommended frequency.
If a patient is asymptomatic, would discovery of a disease increase his stress level?
In the immediate aftermath, a patient may be concerned because he has diabetes or cancer. In my experience, most patients are relieved that a potentially serious medical problem was detected early during a health screening.
In fact, the majority of patients will return and strongly encourage their relatives and friends to undergo health screenings as well.
The doctor conducting the consultation must also be very tactful in balancing medical facts and giving the patient hope or encouragement.
Health screening packages abound. How do I choose a wellness package?
This will depend on family history (if there is a history of cancer, diabetes or heart disease in the family history), age (older patients tend to develop more problems such as glaucoma), lifestyle (smokers and those who lead a sedentary lifestyle) and any present health complaints.
What is expected during the health screening process?
Our trained counter staff will discuss a suitable health screening package with the patient during registration. This is subject to change following consultation with the doctor.
After that, blood, urine, and stool tests will be taken, followed by X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and eye screening. In the interim, the patient will visit the doctor for a thorough consultation and physical examination.
We make every effort to keep waiting times at the various stations to a minimum. We also have a lovely waiting room where patients can enjoy a healthy breakfast of porridge, sandwiches, and fruits.
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