Which health screens are right for me?

What is one of the most common, low-tech, home health screen moms often use to judge how sick their children are? How about a hand placed gently to the forehead to check for a fever?

Of course, more sophisticated health screens have come into play over the last few years, helping people who may not have any outward symptoms of disease get an early warning of potential health problems.

When health screen results indicate that a problem might exist, patients can take that information to consult with their physicians for early disease management and treatment which, generally, leads better short- and long-term health.

The most common providers of screenings are hospitals, county health departments and corporate employee wellness programs. Free or discounted screenings are often listed as community events in newspapers and on county health websites.

But how do you know which health screens are right for you?

While there is no substitute for a personal visit with your physician, Mayo Clinic offers a handy tool for you to figure out which screenings you need based on your gender and age.
 
This screenshot displays just one possible result after providing gender and age information. Initially you will see the list of Screening Titles (Blood pressure; Breast cancer; Cervical cancer; et al.) in the box titled “Health Screening Guidelines”. You can hover your cursor on a Screening Title for the detail box to pop up. I hovered over Blood pressure in the screenshot.  You can print out all screenings with details and references in about 6 pages. 

The details include:

Screening title with accepted recommendations based on medical evidence.

What is it? This section describes what the screening involves and how it is physically done.

Why? This section explains why the screening is important: what the screening finds. For instance, a breast cancer screening may detect a lump in a breast. “Diagnosis of breast cancer during the early stages of disease has been positively linked to a decrease in the mortality and morbidity of the illness”. (WHO, 2006).


Common Screenings:

  • Cholesterol
  • Cancer (colorectal, breast, prostate, oral, skin)
  • Diabetes (glucose)
  • Blood pressure
  • HIV/AIDS

Other Screenings: (offered by the Allen County Department of Health by appointment/walk-in)

  • Tuberculosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Lead poisoning (information under the Healthy Homes Program page)

 

Additional resources

  • You can read more about health screenings through the Parkview Community Health Improvement program, including: Francine’s Friends (mobile mammography); Colorectal Cancer screening (free test kits); Health fairs; and, importantly, behavioral health screenings i.e. alcohol and drug misuse, depression screening, and more. There is 24-hour telephone counseling available from Parkview Behavioral Health.
  • Healthy Class is a zip code-driven tool that will find screening locations near you.

 

 

 

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