Your health is your wealth so let’s be proactive about staying healthy with regular checkups and screenings.
words: Tamara Clarke
Your health matters and with advancements in technology and medical research, it’s possible to thwart certain illnesses by understanding your risk factors and consulting with a physician before there is a problem.
The practice of preventive healthcare helps to decrease your chances of falling ill and minimizes the burden of disease if you do so here’s a list of medical checkups that are worth checking out.
Blood Pressure Screening
According to the results of the annual 2019 worldwide 360 Well- being Survey conducted by Cigna, heart disease and high blood pressure continue to be on the rise in the UAE. Nearly 30% of the UAE population suffers from heart disease and 32% suffer from high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is how hard your blood pushes against the walls of your arteries (the tubes that carry blood away from your heart) when your heart pumps blood. Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure and because it usually has no symptoms, it’s commonly referred to as a “silent killer.” The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get tested.
It is recommended to get your blood pressure checked regularly starting at age 18. If you are age 40 or older, or if you are at higher risk for high blood pressure, get your blood pressure checked once a year. If you are age 18 to 40 and you aren’t at increased risk for high blood pressure, have it checked every three to five years.
It’s important to get your cholesterol, the waxy material that’s naturally found in your blood, checked regularly. Your body
makes cholesterol and uses it to do important things, like making hormones and digesting fatty foods but too much cholesterol in your blood can cause a heart attack or a stroke.
The good news is that it’s easy to get your cholesterol checked.
If your cholesterol is high, you can take steps to lower it, such as eating healthily, getting more physical activity, and taking medicine if your doctor recommends it. The general recommendation is to get your cholesterol checked every four to six years. Some people may need to get their cholesterol checked more or less often depending on their risk of heart disease.
For example, high cholesterol can run in families. If someone in your family has high cholesterol or takes medicine to control cholesterol, you might need to get tested more often. Talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.
If you are age 50 to 75, get tested regularly for colorectal cancer.
A special test (called a screening test) can help prevent colorectal cancer or find it early when it may be easier to treat. You may need to get tested before age 50 if colorectal cancer runs in your family. Talk with your doctor and ask about your risk for colorectal cancer. There are different ways to test for colorectal cancer and your doctor can help you decide the testing method that’s best for you.
Breast Cancer Screening
Early detection remains the primary way to prevent the development of breast cancer. Breast cancers that are detected when smaller or non-palpable are more treatable and likely to have a more favorable prognosis. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an organization made up of doctors and disease experts who look at research on the best way to prevent diseases and make recommendations on how doctors can help patients avoid diseases or find them early.
USPSTF recommends that women who are 50 to 74 years old
and are at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor or other health care professional about when to start and how often to get a mammogram. Women should weigh the benefits and risks of screening tests when deciding whether to begin getting mammograms before age 50.