An imbalanced and hectic lifestyle along with poor dietary habits are major contributors to chronic life-threatening illnesses. Such illnesses have significantly increased mortality rates over the past decades. With medical advancements, health screening makes it possible for early detection of diseases, preventing them from progressing to advanced stages. Read on to learn more about the importance of health screening checks.
Health screening checks are medical tests run by doctors to screen for any diseases or health conditions, even before any signs or symptoms appear. A health screening appointment includes medical consultation with the doctor, followed by various tests such as laboratory, radiological screening tests or even scopes.
Certain health conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol are present in many people, but most are unaware of it until it is too late. In the same way, some diseases may appear as treatable precancerous lesions in early stages such as colon, cervical, and breast cancer. The goal of health screening is early detection and making lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of diseases, or detecting the disease early enough to treat if most effectively.
The need for screening tests depends on your age, gender, health status, and individual risk factors. Some screenings may be done as part of a routine healthcare check-up, while others may follow strict guidelines according to your present health condition.
There are different kinds of health screening available, which includes:
Basic health screening checkups are performed by examining and performing simple tests. Such tests aim to check for obesity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure. Health screening may start for those aged 18 and above, however, if you have a family history of health conditions and diseases, you are recommended to get screened even from an early age. Speak to a doctor to understand your risk and screening options.
SOG Classic Health Screening Package comes with essential screening tests for your health and wellness, to give you a general overview of your present health condition.
As the risk of developing cancer increases with age, it is beneficial to go for regular health screening when you reach a certain age. In Singapore, statistics show that breast cancer is the number 1 cancer in women, while colorectal cancer is top among men and second most common among women above 50 years old. For such cancers, screening tests conducted are colonoscopy for colorectal cancer, mammogram for breast cancer. Women are also advised to go for their pap smear, to screen for cervical cancer.
Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for adults over the age of 50 years. Screening tests such as a colonoscopy should be performed at least once every 10 years to screen for colorectal cancer or premalignant lesions. Individuals with risk factors such as old age, a family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, genetic syndrome such as Lynch syndrome have higher chances of developing colorectal cancer, and should be screened regularly. For patients with higher risks, colonoscopy can begin before the age of 50 years and can be repeated once every 1, 2, or 5 years as recommended by your doctor.
A colonoscopy is an examination of the inside part of your entire colon through direct visualization. It is performed using a colonoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a small built-in camera on the end, that is carefully manoeuvred through the anus and rectum into your colon.
A colonoscopy enables your specialist doctor to directly remove any polyps detected during the procedure. It also allows them to carry out biopsies (obtaining small samples of the tissue) and take pictures of any abnormal areas for further investigation. Therefore, a colonoscopy is considered to be the most comprehensive and precise method for the prevention and diagnosis of colon cancer.
A mammogram is a breast cancer screening test that involves taking an X-ray of your breasts to detect any abnormalities or changes in the breast tissue. Typically, you should start going for regular mammograms from the age of 40. Individuals aged 40-49 years are recommended to go for a mammogram every year.
If you are aged 50-69 years, it is recommended that you go for a mammogram screening once every two years.
However, it is important for every woman to discuss with their doctor their risk factors for developing breast cancer and consider if they have a higher risk than the average population. Women with a higher risk may require earlier screening.
Some benefits of a mammogram for breast cancer screening include:
Cervical cancer screening can detect any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Screening includes cervical cytology or pap smear and testing for human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer.
Our national guideline states that you should go for a Pap test every three years (if you are between 25 to 29 years old) or HPV test every five years (if you are 30 years old and above). Going for regular cervical cancer screening is the best protection against cervical cancer.
A Pap smear is done by collecting cells from the cervix to test for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on your cervix (the opening of the uterus). During the procedure, cells from your cervix are gently scraped and examined for any abnormal growth.
At SOG, we provide health screening packages that cover your health and medical needs. Our Classic Screening Package includes essential screening tests and a Pap smear for women, with the option of adding a Mammogram or Colonoscopy screening to get a better understanding of your present health condition.
Established in 2011, SOG Health Pte. Ltd. (“SOG”) is a leading healthcare service provider dedicated to delivering holistic health and wellness services to the modern family.
With a long and established track record in Singapore providing Obstetrics and Gynaecology (“O&G”) services such as pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has since further expanded its spectrum of healthcare services to include Paediatrics, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Cancer-related General Surgery (Colorectal, Breast & Thyroid) and postpartum Confinement Care.
The Group’s clinics, under its four operating segments of O&G, Paediatrics, Cancer-related and Dermatology, are strategically located throughout Singapore to provide easy access to its patients.
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