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Medical screenings or tests are examinations that are used by physicians in order to find illnesses and health conditions before any symptoms or signs appear. Such medical screenings or tests can become lifesavers in the event that they locate a serious health condition. Medical screenings or tests are gender or age specific because some ailments only attack certain groups of people. The following tips will help to lead people in the right direction.
A Pap smear is a test given to females in order to inspect cervical cells for abnormalities. These particular tests are important for women aged 21 and older. Abnormal cervical cells that are taken, being kept in a biorepository, might be found to be cervical cancer. Women that are between the ages of 21 and 29 should visit their gynecologist every three years in order to have a pap smear test done. For women that are aged 30 to 65, it is recommended that they have a pap smear test done every five years if the test is completed with a human papillomavirus test.
Mammograms are health screens that x-ray the breast of men and women in order to identify the presence of breast cancer. Individuals should begin this health screening by the age of 50. If an individual has a family history of breast cancer then it is recommended to start having the health screens done by the age of 40. Mammograms can help to save a life in the event that they catch images of cancerous cell. Early detection means that a patient can start early treatment, which helps to increase the chances of beating the disease and stop the cancer from spreading. Patients should receive mammogram screenings every other year or annually. The frequency of the screening will depend on the person’s family history and also if abnormalities were found in the health screening.
There are two important health screenings that can help to identify heart disease. A stress test monitors the heart while the patient is engaging in a number of exercises. A stress test can help to show the existence of blood flow problems. The more vigorous the exercise gets, the harder the heart will have to work. A hard-working heart is able to pump blood faster and if there are any abnormalities within the heart, the stress test will be able to reveal it. The second health screening that helps to monitor one’s heart is an electrocardiogram or EKG. This screening is different from the stress test because a patient does not have to engage in any exercises. The EKG has the ability to monitor the beats of the heart. An abnormal heartbeat can reveal dangerous heart conditions such as arrhythmia or a heart attack. EKGs and stress tests should be given to individuals that have a family history of heart disease, chest pains, shortness of breath, or a decrease in one’s ability to perform everyday activities.
A fifth health screen test is a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can help to reveal colon cancer. Colon cancer is the third most dangerous cancer in the United States. In order to battle this deadly disease, physicians urge patients who are over the age of 50 years old to have the procedure done. Patients may want to have this procedure done earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer or if the patient has had inflammatory bowel disease for more than 8 years. Colonoscopy testing should be done every 10 years, as long as no abnormalities are found.
Finally, a prostate-specific antigen test or PSA test is a health screen that can help to reveal early signs of prostate cancer. This particular screening measures prostate-specific antigen, a protein created in the prostate gland. This particular test is recommended for men that are 50 or older. If a male has a family history of prostate cancer then it is recommended that the screening is done earlier. It should also be noted that African-American men are at a bigger risk of developing the disease so they should begin testing at the age of 45.
All of the above health screenings should be taken seriously due to the fact that they can help to save a life. These tests can help to identify health threats and help you to begin early treatment.