Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:51 am
A screening test is used to determine whether someone has a disease. A screening test is also called a preliminary examination. It is used to determine if there is anything wrong with your body.
A screening test is a quick way to check for diseases like cancer. Find out how they work and when they should be done!
What is the Screening Test?
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A screening test is done to detect potential health disorders or diseases in people who do not have any symptoms of the disease. The goal is early detection and lifestyle changes or surveillance, to reduce the risk of disease, or to detect it early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not considered diagnostic but are used to identify a subset of the population who should have additional testing to determine the presence or absence of disease.
When is a Screening Test Helpful?
What makes a screening test valuable is its ability to detect potential problems while minimizing nuclear or confusing results. While screening tests are not 100% accurate in all cases, it is more valuable to have the screening tests at the times, as recommended by your doctor or family physician, than to not have them at all. However, some screening tests, when used in people not at high risk for disease, or when testing for very rare diseases, can cause more problems than they help.
8 Common Screening Tests
Be sure to consult your doctor or healthcare provider at healthcare nt sickcare, regarding the timing and frequency of all screening tests based on your age, overall health, and medical history. The following are some examples of common screening tests;
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Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can be found in all parts of the body. It aids in the production of cell membranes, some hormones, and vitamin D. The cholesterol in the blood comes from 2 sources;
- The food you eat
- Production in your liver
However, the liver produces all the cholesterol the body needs. Cholesterol and other fats are transported in the bloodstream as spherical particles called lipoproteins. The 2 most commonly known lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or “good” cholesterol.
Cholesterol screening is performed by a blood test. People with high cholesterol measurements from a blood sample have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than those with cholesterol in the normal range. Studies have shown that people with high cholesterol can reduce their risk of heart disease by lowering their cholesterol. It is important to understand, however, that people can still have heart disease even with cholesterol levels in the normal range.
Occult Blood Test
Occult blood is detected by microscopic analysis or by chemical tests of hemoglobin (blood) on the stool. People with blood on their stool may have a cancerous growth indicative of colorectal cancer. The test requires collection of 3 stool samples that are examined under the microscope for blood. It is important to understand that when blood is present in a stool sample, it’s because of other noncancerous factors, such as certain medications or foods, gastrointestinal bleeding, or hemorrhoids. Testing is recommended starting at age 50.
PAP Smear Test
Pap smears are samples of cells taken from the cervix in women to look for cellular changes indicative of cervical cancer. The Pap smear is an important screening test in sexually active women under the age of 65, to detect cancer at a stage when there are often no symptoms. It is important to understand that a Pap smear may be referred to as “abnormal,” but may not mean that a person has cervical cancer. Some doctors also recommend HPV (human papillomavirus) screening in certain populations during the Pap smear.
This blood test measures the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in the blood. Antigens are any substances that evoke responses from a person’s immune system. The prostate-specific antigen levels can be elevated in the presence of prostate cancer. However, it is important to understand that other benign prostate conditions may also elevate PSA, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a noncancerous swelling of the prostate. The PSA test is not recommended for all men, and there is considerable controversy over the role of PSA testing.
The pros and cons of PSA screening should always be discussed with your doctor or family physician before testing. Some cons include unnecessary testing and procedures, unnecessary costs, and significantly increased anxiety. healthcare nt sickcare recommends PSA test all men above 40 age.
Many doctors in India recommend mammography screening for breast cancer every 1 year to 2 years after age 50. This test is done with a clinical breast exam.
Many doctors recommend screening for colon cancer or colon polyps at age 50, earlier if you have a family history or other risk factors.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that all adults be screened for diabetes or prediabetes starting at age 45, regardless of weight. Individuals without symptoms of diabetes should be screened if they are overweight or obese and have one or more additional diabetes risk factors.
Allergy Blood Test
Allergies are a common and chronic condition that involves the body’s immune system. Normally, your immune system works to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other infectious agents. When you have an allergy, your immune system treats a harmless substance, like dust or pollen, as a threat. To fight this perceived threat, your immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
Substances that cause an allergic reaction are called allergens. Besides dust and pollen, other common allergens include animal dander, foods, including nuts and shellfish, and certain medicines, such as penicillin. Allergy symptoms can range from sneezing and a stuffy nose to a life-threatening complication called anaphylactic shock. Allergy blood tests measure the amount of IgE antibodies in the blood. A small amount of IgE antibodies is normal. A larger amount of IgE may mean you have an allergy.
Consult your family physician or doctor regarding these as well as other types of screening tests, based on your medical condition, as not all doctors agree regarding which screening tests should be done and for which age groups. healthcare nt sickcare recommends regular preventive health screening or preventive health checkups regularly for all aged above 30.
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