Monitor Your Health : Preventive Tests And When To Take Them
When was the last time you had a complete health checkup? Or are you one of those people who only goes to the doctor when something hurts enough to interfere with your lifestyle? We are totally not judging, but just wanted to get on here and remind you that the first step to maintenance, especially in health matters, is monitoring. This is where preventive tests (or screenings) come in.
Screenings look for specific indicators of a particular illness or disease in seemingly healthy people. The tests are based off of existing research and the frequency requirements and recommendations for testing are updated as the research updates. The NHS has a list of screenings it provides as part of its service and can be found on their website (or talk to a doctor about it). Screenings help you understand the condition of your health and how best to move forward, should something come back positive (positive meaning the indicators for the illness are present). Screenings are typically ‘recommended’ and not ‘mandatory’ because they are very personal – test results can sometimes be associated with difficult decisions – like terminating a pregnancy because a test shows the fetus is at risk for something, or having to make treatment decisions for life-altering illnesses. Regardless, being aware of preventive screenings and when to take them will help you take charge of your health.
Here is a list of common preventive screenings – some of these are administered by the NHS. This list is by no means comprehensive, and your GP will be able to best help you get the type of screening you require, based on your health needs.
For Pregnant Women
Screening for possible birth defects, syndromes, infectious diseases and abnormalities – a gynecologist or physician should be able to refer and decipher results.
Hearing Test and physical examination (including bloodwork) is common.
Breast Cancer screening – X-ray mammography screenings for women over 50 (every 1-2 years)
Cervical Cancer screening – checks for the health of cervical cells and helps in the early detection of cervical cancer. every 3 years for those in the 25-49 age range and every 5 years for 50-64.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening (AAA) – For men, and typically around the age of 65
Eye Tests for Diabetics – Anyone aged 12 and above with a diabetic condition can get an eye test to check for retinopathy
STD screening – for sexually active adults
Bowel Cancer Screening – Adults over the age of 55, most times a one-off test
Apart from these, cancer screenings, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, and medication use review should be considered if you are at risk due to genetic, lifestyle, or other factors. There are very many tests out there, but fret not! Talk to your doctor.
Your GP can refer you for most screening procedures (screenings for pregnant women and children might need specialist referrals) and will receive a copy of the results to best direct you on next steps. If you are looking for a GP appointment with no wait time, book your home visit with a Gogodoc GP today – we have same-day appointments in most cases. Or simply get an online video consultation with our doctors and monitor your health from the comfort of your home. Leave us a comment if you have any questions 🙂