Screening tests are conducted by doctors to check for potential diseases and health disorders in those who do not have present symptoms.
What are screening tests?
Screening tests are conducted by doctors to check for potential diseases and health disorders in those who do not have present symptoms. The goal with screenings is early detection so that a disease or disorder is treated more effectively. Based on the results, your doctor may also suggest lifestyle changes or habits to monitor that will help to ward off any medical conditions.
Why are they helpful?
Although screenings are not always 100% accurate in all cases, they are valuable at appropriate times (when your healthcare provider recommends them). A screening test can detect potential problems while also minimizing confusing or ambiguous results. It is certainly better to have them than to not have them at all. If you are at a high risk for certain diseases, we recommend that you discuss screening tests with your doctor.
What are some of the more common screenings?
Some of the more common/popular screenings include:
- Cholesterol measurements, which are performed with blood tests. Patients with high cholesterol in their blood samples have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
- Diabetes, which should be scheduled for women and men starting at the age of 45, regardless of weight.
- Fecal occult blood tests, which test for blood in the stool. If you have blood in your stool, it may be indicative of cancerous growths. Patients are asked to smear their feces upon a card that will be tested at the lab for microscopic amounts of blood that are unable to be seen. Testing is recommended for women and men starting at the age of 50.
- Mammography, which check for breast cancer.
- Colonoscopy, which screen for colon cancer or colon polyps at age 50, or earlier if you have a family history or certain risk factors.
- Pap test, which involves a scraping/collection of cells on the cervix to test for cervical cancer.
Questions about screening tests?
If you live in San Diego and you have questions or concerns about anything mentioned above, call the team at North Coast Family Medical Group at (760) 942-0118. Our aim is to present you with the most helpful and accurate medical information so that you can make the best decisions for you and your loved ones.