Health screenings are an important part of preventive health care. They can be really helpful in discovering most issues early, and in most cases when the complications may be easier to manage or treat.
Health screening at Raffles place can also help detect certain types of cancer, such as cervical cancer before there are any symptoms. This is important because when cancer is found early, treatment is more likely to be successful.
What are the Three Notable Examples of Screening Tests I may need?
There are several examples of medical screening, and the exact screening that may be recommended for you will depend on your age, sex, family history, and other factors. However, three common types of medical screenings include Mammograms, Pap smears, and Colonoscopies.
This is basically an x-ray of the breast. The test is used to look for changes that are not normal, such as early-stage breast cancer.
Mammograms can also find cysts, calcifications, and other abnormalities in the breast. The test is done using a special x-ray machine that flattens the breast.
This makes it easier to get clear pictures. You may feel some pressure during the exam, but it should not be painful. Mammograms exist in two types: screening and diagnostic mammograms.
Screening mammograms are done on women who have no signs or symptoms of breast problems. They are usually done every 1 to 2 years, starting at age 40 or 50, depending on a woman’s risk factors for developing breast cancer.
Diagnostic mammograms are done on women who have symptoms of a possible problem, such as a lump in the breast, nipple discharge, or a change in the size or shape of the breast. They are also done if an abnormality is found on a screening mammogram.
A diagnostic mammogram takes more pictures from different angles than a screening mammogram and may take longer. Sometimes more tests need to be done after a diagnostic mammogram if an abnormality is found.
These tests may include an ultrasound, MRI, or biopsy. It is important to remember that most breast changes are not cancerous.
Abnormalities found on a mammogram often turn out to be due to benign (noncancerous) conditions such as fibrosis or cysts. If you have any concerns about your mammogram results after health screening at Raffles place, talk to your doctor.
II. Pap smears
A Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. It involves collecting cells from your cervix — the lower, narrow part of your uterus at the top of your vagina.
Healthcare providers use a small brush and/or wooden spatula to gently scrape cells from your cervix during a pelvic exam. They then send the cells to a laboratory for testing.
Pap smears are usually done during a pelvic exam, which women often have once per year. However, you may need to have a Pap smear more frequently if you’re at a higher risk for cervical cancer. You’re at a higher risk if you:
- Have HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system
- Have been exposed to DES (a synthetic form of estrogen) before birth
- Have certain genetic conditions
If you’re over 65 years old and have had adequate negative screenings in the past, you may be able to stop having Pap smears. Pap smears can detect abnormal cells on your cervix.
These abnormal cells may develop into cancer if they’re not treated. That’s why it’s important to follow up with your healthcare provider about abnormal Pap smear results. Treatment for abnormal cells may involve cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), cone biopsy, or hysterectomy.
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to visually examine the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. It is also used to obtain tissue samples (biopsies) to be checked for abnormalities such as cancer.
The procedure is performed by a gastroenterologist, a physician who specializes in disorders of the digestive system. A colonoscopy is done using a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope.
The colonoscope is passed through the rectum and into the colon. As the colonoscope is advanced, the lining of the colon is examined for abnormal growths, ulcers, bleeding, or other problems.
If any suspicious areas are found, biopsy specimens can be obtained through the scope. Colonoscopies are usually done on an outpatient basis, which means that you do not have to stay in the hospital overnight after the procedure. You will receive sedation during the procedure to help you remain relaxed and pain-free.
Colonoscopies are generally recommended for people over the age of 50 who are at average risk for colorectal cancer. People who have symptoms suggestive of colorectal cancer or other problems with their gastrointestinal tract may also need to undergo a colonoscopy.
In addition, people with family members who have had colorectal cancer are at higher risk for developing the disease themselves and may need to start having colonoscopies at an earlier age. The frequency you need to have a colonoscopy depends on your individual risk factors. Your doctor will be able to advise you on how often you should have this procedure based on your personal medical history.
What is Included in a Health Screening?
Health screening is an important part of preventative healthcare. By checking for health problems early, it is possible to diagnose and treat conditions before they become serious.
A typical health screening at Raffles place usually involves a physical examination, during which your doctor will check your weight, height, body mass index, and blood pressure. You may also be asked to provide a blood or urine sample for further testing.
Screenings can help to identify potential health problems early before they cause symptoms or become more serious. This means you can receive treatment as soon as possible, improving your chances of a full recovery. Regular health screenings are important for staying healthy and preventing serious illnesses.
Doctors do insist on health screenings for a reason–they can save your life. Cancer is just one example of a disease that can be caught early through screening and treated successfully.
Don’t wait for something to go wrong before you see a doctor. Make sure to schedule regular check-ups and health screens as recommended by your physician. It could be the most important decision you ever make.
We offer a variety of health screening services to help keep our patients healthy. Please contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment. Call: (+65) 6226 6442.
The Health Advisory Clinic – Women’s Health | STD/HIV Testing
1 Raffles Pl, #04-49, Singapore 048616
+65 9886 6442