• Screening Tests For Better Health

    Nicole Lowe | March 25, 2024

    Regular screening tests and checkups can help you stay healthy and are a preventative measure for certain diseases, even before any symptoms appear.

    Often, the earlier a disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is that it can be cured or successfully managed. When you treat a disease early, you may be able to prevent or delay problems from the disease. Treating the disease early may also make the disease easier to live with.

    What kinds of screening tests are available?
    Adults may have several screening tests available to them, such as testing for heart attack, stroke risk, and certain cancers. Your doctor can help you determine the tests you may need and how often to have them.

    Visit myhealth.Alberta.ca to find out more about screening tests or by clicking on the links below:

    Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

    Blood Pressure Screening

    Breast Cancer Screening

    CAGE Questionnaire for Alcohol Problems

    Cervical Cancer Screening

    Colorectal Cancer Test Recommendations

    Depression Screening

    • Glaucoma Screening

    HIV Screening

    • Osteoporosis Screening

    Prostate Cancer Screening

    • Screening for Hearing Problems

    Screening for Weight Problems

    Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening

    Skin Cancer Screening

    Thyroid Screening Recommendations

    Tuberculosis (TB) Screening

    • Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Adults

    Vision Screening and Eye Exams for Adults

    When to Have a Cholesterol Test

    How do you decide when to get a screening test?

    When and how often you get screening tests may depend on your age, your sex, your health status, and your risk factors. These are things you can discuss with your doctor, and, in some cases, testing is done as part of a routine checkup.
    Your doctor may suggest screening tests based on expert guidelines. Sometimes different expert panels make differe3nt recommendations. In these situations, talk with your doctor to decide which guidelines best meet your health needs

    You also may need some screening tests earlier or more often if:
    • You have a higher risk for a certain disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, or colon cancer.
    • You have a long-term health problem, such as diabetes.
    • When you are thinking about getting a screening test, talk with your doctor. Find out about the disease, what the test is like, and how the test may help you or hurt you. You may also want to ask what further testing and follow-up will be needed if a screening test result shows a possible problem.
    • Ask your doctor about the limits of the test and treatment. For example:
    • Ask your doctor how likely it is that the test would miss a disease (false negative), show something that looks like you have a disease when you don't (false positive), or find a disease that will never cause a problem.
    • Ask your doctor about the treatment for the disease that the test looks for. There may be no treatment that helps with symptoms or helps you live longer. In this case, you may decide that you don't want the screening test.

    Also think about what you would do if a test shows that you have the disease. For example, if you are going to be tested for osteoporosis, are you willing to take medicine or make lifestyle changes if the test shows that you have it?

    Regular screening tests and checkups can help you stay healthy. Talk with your doctor whenever you have concerns about your health.

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