Jun 23

Health Screening – Need To Know

Health screening is a program aimed at the purpose of identifying an unrecognised disease in an individual not exhibiting any signs or symptoms. Intrinsically, screening tests are performed on an individual seemingly in good health.

Screening Interventions in a Community

In some cases, screening program and tests are carried out to a community for earlier intervention and management of any prevailing diseases. The very objective of this is to reduce mortality and suffering from certain maladies.

While screening may enable early diagnosis, not all tests in Singapore can benefit the individual being screened. Screening also has a few potential adverse effects, including misdiagnosis, overdiagnosis, and a false sense of security, among others. Due to these reasons, screening tests must have acceptable specificity and good sensitivity, particularly for a disease with low incidence.


Types of Health Screening

Basically, screening is of three types.

First is the mass screening. This type of screening is offered to everyone, regardless of the individual’s risk status. In other words, it is the screening of the entire population or a subgroup.

The second type of screening is selective or high risk screening. Only risk populations are screened in this type.

The third type is multiphasic screening. This type means screening a large population in Singapore by applying two or more tests on them at one time. This is to eliminate the need to perform separate tests for single diseases.


Corporate Health Screening

A lot of companies in Singapore also have corporate health screening for their staff. Regular screening is beneficial to both employer and employee. Employers will always want it that their people are healthy, so they will be able to perform their respective tasks very well. Likewise, corporate screening is of great benefit to employees, as it is a good opportunity for them to detect any diseases they might not know prevailing.

Common Health Screening Packages

It is important to note that quality health screening packages in Singapore are of the essence in promoting good health among the population. In fact, hospitals and other medical centres and institutions offer various screening programmes and tests for different medical cases. Among the common health screening packages are the following.


For cancer screening:

Individuals having risk factors for cervical cancer may undergo Pap smear, a screening test that can detect possibly precancerous lesions on the cervix. If not detected earlier and treated appropriately, these cell changes can result to cervical cancer.

Mammography is another cancer screening test, particularly for detection of breast cancer. With the use of low-energy X-rays, the human breast is examined to detect characteristic masses and microcalcifications.

Colonoscopy is the appropriate screening test for individuals in Singapore posing risks for colon cancer. In this endoscopic examination, a camera on a flexible tube is passed through the anus to examine the large intestine and the distal part of the small intestine.

For tuberculosis:

Individuals with risk factors for tuberculosis, such as a weakened immune system, will be advised to undergo PPD test, or also known as Mantoux test. It is a major skin test used throughout the world.

For abdominal aortic aneurysm:

Usually, ultrasonography or diagnostic sonography is performed on an individual to check his or her risk of developing abdominal aortic aneurysm. This medical problem is characterized by the dilatation or ballooning of the body’s main artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the circulatory system.

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