What Does a Full Health Screening Include?

What Does a Full Health Screening Include?

Health screenings are crucial in identifying hidden diseases and conditions before symptoms become apparent. A full health screening, often perceived as a comprehensive check-up, goes beyond basic preventive measures to explore a wide range of health aspects, offering a more detailed picture of an individual's overall health.

Basic vs. Comprehensive Health Screenings: Understanding the Difference

Basic Health Screening

Basic Health Screening primarily focuses on fundamental health assessments. It typically includes a physical examination, biophysical measurements like height, weight, and blood pressure, and basic laboratory tests such as blood and urine analysis. This level of screening is designed to catch common conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, providing a general overview of an individual's health status.

Comprehensive Health Screening

Comprehensive Health Screening, on the other hand, goes much deeper. Beyond the basics, it includes a wider array of tests and evaluations, such as advanced blood work, radiological imaging like X-rays and ultrasounds, and specific screenings for cancers, heart disease, and more. It may also incorporate lifestyle assessments and counselling to provide a holistic view of one’s health. This type of screening is particularly beneficial for those with higher risk factors due to family history, age, pre-existing health conditions, or lifestyle choices.

Understanding the distinction between basic and comprehensive screenings helps individuals make informed decisions about their health care, aligning their choice of screening with their specific health concerns and goals.

Components of a Full Health Screening

Physical Examination

A physical examination by a healthcare provider is the cornerstone of any health screening. This hands-on assessment includes evaluating the skin, eyes, heart, lungs, and abdominal organs to detect any signs of potential health issues.

Dr Leonard Leng of ATA Medical having a consultation session with patient before the health screening process.
Dr Leonard Leng of ATA Medical conducting physical examination on patient as part of the health screening process.

Biophysical Measurements

These measurements provide baseline data about your health:

  • Height and Weight: Used to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight.
  • Visual Acuity and Colour Vision: Tests to assess the quality of your vision and detect potential issues.
  • Waist and Hip Ratio: A significant measure that helps assess the distribution of body fat. This ratio is calculated by dividing the circumference of your waist by that of your hips. It is an important indicator of health because it provides insight into potential risk factors for conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. A higher ratio suggests a greater risk of heart disease and other health-related issues associated with abdominal obesity.

Laboratory Tests

A series of blood, urine, and sometimes stool tests that offer insight into various health markers:

  • Blood Tests: Evaluate several components, including blood count, sugar levels (diabetes indicator), cholesterol levels, kidney and liver function, thyroid hormone levels, cancer markers, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis A and B, and ABO blood group.
  • Urine Tests: Screen for infections, sugar content (diabetes), protein (early kidney disease), and blood (indicative of infections, tumours, or kidney stones).
  • Stool Tests (Optional): Check for blood in the stool, a potential marker for colon cancer or other conditions like haemorrhoids.
Nurse drawing blood from patient as part of health screening process.
Nurse done with drawing blood process and applying pressure with cotton bud on patient's injected area.

Radiological Tests

Radiological tests use imaging to look inside the body for signs of health conditions. These include:

  • X-Ray: A quick and painless procedure often used to examine the lungs, bones, and other areas for abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound: Uses sound waves to create images of the inside of the body, such as the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and, in women, the pelvic region and thyroid gland.
  • Bone Mineral Density (BMD): Utilises X-rays to measure the density of bones, helping to diagnose osteoporosis or assess fracture risk. It can be recommended for women aged 65 and above or individuals with risk factors for osteoporosis.
Female radiologist using ultrasound scan machine to scan patient's abdomen area.
Ultrasound Scans Are Performed by Female Sonographers
Ultrasound scan machine at clinic with 2 monitors to view the imaging.
Ultrasound Scan Machine

Other Key Health Tests

In addition to radiological tests, a full health screening often includes the following key health tests:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): A quick and painless procedure often used to examine the lungs, bones, and other areas for abnormalities.
  • Pap Smear: A screening tool for cervical cancer in women aged 25 – 65 who have been sexually active. This test is recommended every 3 years unless otherwise advised by a healthcare professional.
  • Mammogram: An X-ray of the breasts recommended for breast cancer screening. Women aged 40 – 49 are advised to have it annually, while those 50 and above should have it every 2 years.

Advanced Screenings in Comprehensive Health Packages

Comprehensive health screenings often encompass a variety of tests for a deeper investigation into one's health, including advanced screenings for cancer markers and detailed evaluations of cardiovascular risks.

Among these, Computed Tomography (CT) Scans, such as the CT Calcium Score and CT Low Dose Lung Screening, play a crucial role. The CT Calcium Score is used to assess the risk of coronary artery disease by measuring the amount of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.

Meanwhile, the CT Low Dose Lung Screening is designed to detect early signs of lung cancer, especially in individuals at high risk due to a history of heavy smoking or those with family history of lung cancer. These specialised CT scans offer valuable insights, allowing for early intervention and management of potential health issues.

CT Scan machine located at ATA Medical (Camden).
CT Scan at ATA Medical (Camden)
CT Scan machine located at ATA Medical (Camden).
CT Scan Machine

Special Considerations for Health Screenings

Health screenings should be personalised based on age, gender, family history, existing health conditions, and lifestyle factors. These considerations help determine the most relevant screenings for each individual, ensuring that the focus is on the areas of greatest concern or risk.

Conclusion: Tailoring Your Full Health Screening

The essence of a full health screening lies in its ability to be tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Consulting with a doctor is paramount in creating a personalised health screening schedule that aligns with your health status, risks, and lifestyle. Regular health screenings are instrumental in early disease detection and prevention, setting the foundation for a healthier future.

Don't wait for symptoms to appear before taking action. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your health screening needs and take a proactive step towards maintaining your health. Remember, early detection is key to preventing and successfully treating many health conditions.

Why Choose ATA Medical?

ATA Medical - One Stop Health Screening Clinic with X Ray, CT Scan, Mammogram and Ultrasound scans.
ATA Medical - One Stop Health Screening Clinic with X Ray, CT Scan, Mammogram and Ultrasound scans.
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Address: 1 Orchard Blvd, #05-09 Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649
Nearest MRT: Orchard Boulevard Station (TE13)
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Address: 72 Anson Rd, #01-02 Anson House, Singapore 079911
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