Health screening is vital for the early detection and treatment of diseases. Cancers and other deadly conditions can be treated and cured when detected at an early stage. The following health screenings are necessary for better health:
Annual health screening
Physical examination is critical, which is why doctors include it in all their appointments. Your doctor will listen to your suggestions and counsel you according to your symptoms and risk factors.
During an annual exam, your doctor will check for the following:
- History: Your doctor will ask you about your health issues and lifestyle habits, sexual health, smoking and use of alcohol, diet and exercise. They will also review your vaccine and update your medical history.
- Vital signs: Your doctor will examine you for signs like blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature.
- General appearance: Your doctor will be able to tell a lot about your general health by looking at you and talking to you. They will learn your mental agility and memory, your skin condition, and if you can stand and move easily.
- Examination of the heart: Irregular heartbeats, a heart murmur, and other signs of heart disease can be detected by using a stethoscope to listen to your heart.
- Lung exam: A stethoscope can pick up crackles, wheezes, and lesser air noises. These signs and other sounds could indicate a problem with the lungs.
- Head and neck exam: When you open your mouth to say “ah,” your doctor will see your throat and tonsils. They will also evaluate the quality of your teeth and gums, which tell a lot about your general health. They will also examine your sinuses, nose, eyes, ears, lymph nodes, carotid arteries, and thyroid.
- Abdominal exam: Your doctor will tap your abdomen to check the size of your liver and the involvement of your intestinal fluid. He will also use a stethoscope to listen to your bowel noises and palpate for tenderness.
- Neurological exam:The doctor will also examine your muscle strength, nerves, balance, agility, mental health, and others.
- Dermatological exam:Your skin and nails will be checked as they can tell a dermatological condition or problems elsewhere in the body.
- Extremities exam:Your doctor will also examine your physical and sensory improvements. They will also check your pulses in both the arms and legs and examine your joints for abnormalities.
Male physical exam
The doctor does the following during an annual health screening for a man:
- Testicular exam where they check for tenderness, lumps or difference in the sizes of the testicles
- Hernia exam where they check for defects in the abdominal wall between the intestine and scrotum
- Penis exam where they check for signs of sexually transmitted infections like ulcers or warts
- Prostate exam where they check the prostate for scale and inserts a finger into the rectum to examine the back passage
The doctor does the following during an annual health screening for a woman:
- Breast exam: To check for breast cancer or benign breast conditions.
- Pelvic exam: The doctor checks the vagina, vulva, cervix, uterus, and ovaries for sexually transmitted diseases. They also carry out a pap smear to check for HPV and cervical cancer.
There may be no regular laboratory examinations during every annual examination, but the doctors can prescribe the following if there is a need:
- Full blood count
- Chemistry panel for your kidneys and liver
These tests alone cannot give complete information except there are other related symptoms.
Your doctor will recommend a diagnostic lipid panel (cholesterol test) every 4 to 6 years. If you have a risk factor for heart attack, it will be more frequent.
Other tests include:
- Blood sugar test if you have risks for diabetes, up to 45 years, or are overweight
- Hepatitis C if you are older than 18 years
Physical exam aids prevention
The aim of an annual exam is for disease prevention. The following are necessary:
- Check for colorectal cancer from age 50 or earlier if you have a risk of the cancer
- Women should start mammogram screening from age 40
The following habits will also aid disease prevention:
- Take 30 minutes fast walk five days a week to reduce your chances of asthma, coronary disease, and some types of cancer
- Eat a primarily plant-based diet that has fewer animal fats
- Don’t smoke
Should I go for an annual exam?
Annual exams are essential and can be very potent at preventing diseases or detecting them early when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
If you are residing or visiting in London, focus on your general well-being and get a private health screening in London, contact here for an appointment.