Preventive health screenings have long been advocated as one of the fundamental healthcare strategies people can adopt to safeguard their health, maintain or improve their quality of life, and prevent disability and even premature death. For years, clinicians, public health organizations, and patient advocacy groups have been using different methods (e.g., persuasive advertising) to increase awareness of the importance of preventive health screenings.
Let’s explore these benefits—the very reasons you should work with your primary care doctor to know which preventive health screenings you might need and when you need them.
Why Get Preventive Health Screenings
Preventive health screenings essentially provide a great way for you to know what your body is not telling you. They help you learn and understand your risks for many health conditions, enabling you to take prudent measures to mitigate those risks long before you start to experience the slightest manifestations of the disease. Preventive health screenings enable your doctor to develop an action plan with the goal of preventing or delaying the onset of chronic conditions. For instance, if your tests showed that you have elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol levels, your primary care doctor can help you reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by making the necessary dietary and lifestyle recommendations. These include smoking cessation, regularly engaging in physical activity, eating healthy, etc.
Moreover, preventive health screenings allow for the detection of chronic diseases—some of which can be immediately life-threatening (e.g., heart attack), while there are those that can still be life-threatening but can linger and involve intensive management (e.g., cancer and diabetes)—in their early stages. Preventive health screenings play a crucial role in helping slow the progression, improving the prognoses, and avoiding costly outcomes of chronic conditions.
Types of Preventive Health Screenings
At your annual wellness check-up, your primary care physician will tell you what exams you need based on your medical and family history, overall health, gender, age, and other factors. For instance, if you are a woman between 50 and 74 years of age, you are encouraged to get routine mammograms. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may be required to get routine mammograms 10 years earlier than the age at which the affected member of your family was first diagnosed.
Other preventive health screenings that your doctor may recommend include the following:
- Colonoscopy to screen for colon polyps and colorectal cancer (beginning at age 50 to screen)
- DEXA bone density scans to screen for osteoporosis (for postmenopausal women or those with risk factors)
- Carotid artery ultrasound (after age 50)
Preventive Health Screenings in The Bronx, NY
At Starling Diagnostics in The Bronx, NY, we offer a wide range of preventive health screening services as part of our commitment to helping the residents of The Bronx and neighboring areas stay on top of their health. We combine advanced technology and state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment with the expertise of our board-certified radiologists to produce highly accurate results –what our patients need to make the wisest decisions about their healthcare