Health Screenings Guide

Most medical conditions have a better chance of successful treatment if they are found and diagnosed early on. This is why medical screenings are very important. Medical screenings are tests, or physical exams, that aim to detect diseases often before any symptoms appear.

For adults, the following health screenings are recommended:

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer remains one of the most common forms of cancer in women. It is estimated that about 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer.

A lump in the breast or a change in size or shape are some of the early symptoms of the disease. Like most types of cancer, breast cancer is highly treatable in its early stages. The following can help determine early the presence of breast cancer:

  • Mammography
    This is recommended annually for women age 40 and above.
  • Physician breast exam
    Like mammography, this should be done every year for women age 40 and above.
  • Breast self-exam
    Unlike the physician breast exam, it is important that women age 20 and above perform the breast self-exam monthly.

Cholesterol Screening

High blood cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart diseases. This is why it is suggested that men and women  have a lipid panel test every 5 years starting at the age of 20. This can be done frequently if there is higher risk of high blood cholesterol.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Caused by the human papillomavirus, cervical cancer can be a result of unprotected sexual contact (the virus is transmitted through sexual intercourse). Women with cervical cancer may experience unusual bleeding from the vagina, pain in the lower abdominal area, pain during sex, and unusual vaginal discharges.

Doing the Pap smear (also known as the Pap test) every year starting at the age of 20 or 3 years after the onset of sexual activity can help in early detection of cervical cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer is the type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It’s the fourth most common type of cancer in the United States. Over the years, the number of deaths resulting from colorectal cancer has decreased as a result of screenings like:

  • Screening colonoscopy
    This is recommended to do every 10 years for men and women age 50 to 75.
  • Fecal occult blood test
    The fecal occult blood test is another screening test for colorectal cancer. This is recommended to do annually for men and women of the aforementioned age group.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
    Doing the flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years with the fecal occult blood test every 3 years is highly recommended to detect colorectal cancer early.

Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting men. This type of cancer begins in the prostate gland, the part of the men’s reproductive system responsible for producing the fluid that’s part of the semen.

Affected men can have better treatment options if prostate cancer is detected early. The annual digital rectal exam and prostate specific antigen test for men age 50 and above can help in diagnosing prostate cancer in its early stages.

Osteoporosis Screening

Women are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the bones. It’s the most common cause of hip fractures in women. Hence, women age 65 and above are recommended to do regular bone density testing (DXA). The frequency depends on the result of the baseline test.

If you would like to know more about regular health screenings, we can help you. Download Premier Surgical’s Screenings by Age E-book today.

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