TOP BENEFITS OF ROUTINE HEALTH SCREENINGS
It is a common practice in the UK for people to only seek medical attention when they are completely down with an illness and their health is compromised even with the NHS at their disposal. A lot of people routinely check their eyesight and dental health but still underestimate the importance of a general health check.
Having a routine health check is as important as the dental and eyesight check. It has many benefits which include prevention of illnesses and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. A private health check can help identify an underlying health problem and significantly reduce the risk and improve the prognosis of any illness.
A health screen usually includes a thorough review of one's lifestyle and comprehensive analysis of medical history. Anyone who undergoes a general health check will be issued a comprehensive medical report, complete diagnostic findings, recommendations and any other necessary specialist referral.
The importance of a routine health screening cannot be overemphasised but here are a few top benefits that come with having regular general health checks.
- Detection of health risks at an early stage
Early diagnosis of diseases is very useful in the management of acute and chronic conditions. One of the most obvious importance of early detection is in the management of cancer. Early detection can prevent malignant tissues from rapidly spreading to other areas of the body. Early diagnosis helps the treatment to be more effective.
In the UK, the Cancer Research Institute states that the survival rate of breast, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancer is improved when they are diagnosed early. Some simple non-invasive investigations during a general health check can save lives.
These non-invasive investigations include
- Faecal occult blood (FOBT) and calprotectin tests for bowel cancer
- Examination and mammogram for breast cancer
- Examination and mammogram for ovarian cancer
- Examination and prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) test for prostate cancer
- Sputum cytology and chest x-ray for lung cancer
Another benefit of early diagnosis is in the detection of heart conditions. Heart conditions are undiagnosed until symptoms like chest pain and breathlessness become obvious. An ECG during a routine health check can detect any problem with electrical conductivity or vessel blockage in the heart. Medical and lifestyle changes can significantly help prevent heart diseases from progressing which can potentially prevent a heart attack in the future.
A health check can also help detect underlying health concerns which may be affecting daily energy levels. it can be used to check the functioning of the thyroid gland, hormone levels, nutrient deficiency and blood sugar. An imbalance in these bodily functions can greatly affect everyday wellbeing
- Lifestyle changes
Routine health screens can help identify ways in which a particular lifestyle can affect general wellbeing, help people take steps to avoid these lifestyles, and have a healthier life. The steps that may be essential to improve lifestyle may include dietary changes, exercise regimes, stress management routine, and smoking cessation.
Generally, everyone should monitor their BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol level and general activeness. A health screen can help re-instil the importance of being healthy and doing away with bad habits.
Positive lifestyle changes can greatly improve overall health and living a life that involves healthy lifestyles will give you extra confidence and peace of mind.
- Detection of genetic risk factors and family history
Routine health checks can help in the assessment of family history which may not be possible during visits to a GP. Having a family history of illness means that you are at risk of having an inherited condition that may affect you later in life. By knowing your risks, you might be able to avoid them by changing habits that tend to make the illness manifest. Some conditions like diabetes, heart failure, and hypertension are common and run in a lot of families but a healthy lifestyle can help anyone avoid these genetic conditions.
- Specific health screening
Health checks are usually carried out by taking into consideration the special needs of every individual to determine the tests which are required. Health checks are cost-effective and convenient. They also ensure that each person's diagnosis is well-targeted.
An example is an endoscopy. This is an invasive investigation which involves inserting a camera into the colon. It may not be necessary for every patient especially when other non-invasive investigations like FOBT have been carried out.
However, endoscopy is a necessary test when it is recommended as part of a complete clinical analysis which puts into consideration age, family history, and other symptoms. The same can be said for other tests like x-ray imaging which has the potential to cause harm.
Age, gender, family history and lifestyle contribute to an individual’s wellbeing so all these must be put into consideration when assessing the requirements of a health check.
- Up to date research and patient empowerment
Medicine is always evolving and it is important to always treat patients in line with the latest research findings.
The NHS has recommended that people between the ages of 40 – 74 to have a health check every five years because of conditions such as diabetes, heart and kidney diseases which are common to people in this age range. From the NHS health check findings, it has been discovered that
- 1 in 27 persons are diagnosed with high blood pressure
- 1 in 110 persons are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
- 1 in 265 persons are diagnosed with kidney disease
Healthy lifestyles, early disease diagnosis, and prevention have helped over the years in disease prognosis. They have helped doctors in treating the cause of diseases and not the symptoms which have helped in disease risk reduction and an increase in responsiveness to therapy.
The WHO has stated that transparency should be one of the key considerations in health screens and people should be well informed about the neutral health guidelines available to the general public. This will enable them to decide for themselves if a health screen is important.
You can get your private health check-up in London at nearby walk in centres. Visit your nearest clinic for general health check-up today.