Annual Diagnostic Tests: Ensuring Your Health and Well-being
As we navigate through the twists and turns of life, our health remains one of our most precious assets. Taking proactive steps to maintain and monitor our well-being is essential for a long, fulfilling, and healthy life. One of the key ways to achieve this is by undergoing annual diagnostic tests.
These tests act as a crucial preventative measure, allowing early detection of potential health issues and empowering us to take appropriate actions. In this blog, we will explore the annual diagnostic tests that everyone should consider having performed, helping you prioritize your health and stay ahead of any potential health risks.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A complete blood count (CBC) provides valuable information about your overall health. This test measures various components of your blood, such as red and white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin levels. A CBC helps identify conditions like anemia, infections, and blood disorders. Regular CBC tests can help track changes in your blood profile and allow healthcare professionals to intervene if necessary.
A lipid profile assesses the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Regular monitoring of these levels helps in managing and preventing cardiovascular conditions. Lifestyle modifications and appropriate medical interventions can be recommended based on the results of this test.
Blood Pressure Measurement
Blood pressure is a critical indicator of cardiovascular health. High blood pressure, or hypertension, often goes unnoticed but can lead to severe complications if left untreated. Regular blood pressure measurements allow for early detection of hypertension and facilitate timely interventions, such as lifestyle changes or medication, to manage blood pressure effectively. Usually, your blood pressure is measured each time you visit a doctor’s office.
Fasting Blood Glucose
The fasting blood glucose test evaluates your blood sugar levels after a period of fasting. It is crucial for the early detection of diabetes or prediabetes. By monitoring blood glucose levels annually, you can identify any abnormalities and take necessary steps to prevent the progression of diabetes or manage the condition effectively.
Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam
Women should undergo regular Pap smears and pelvic exams to screen for cervical cancer and other gynecological conditions. These tests are vital for early detection and treatment of any abnormalities, including sexually transmitted infections, uterine fibroids, or ovarian cysts. Regular screenings contribute to women’s reproductive health and overall well-being.
Mammograms are recommended for women as a preventative measure for breast cancer. These X-ray images of the breast can detect tumors or abnormalities at an early stage, improving the chances of successful treatment. Regular mammograms, coupled with self and clinical breast exams, play a pivotal role in breast cancer prevention and early intervention.
Colonoscopy + Other CRC Screenings
A colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the colon for abnormalities or signs of colorectal cancer (CRC). This test is usually recommended for individuals aged 45 and above, or earlier for those with a family history of colorectal cancer. Regular colonoscopies can help identify precancerous polyps or early-stage cancer, leading to timely intervention and increased survival rates.
Other non-invasive colon screenings have become available in recent years. These tests include both at-home direct-to-consumer options as well as those that require phlebotomy.
- Cologuard® is an at-home diagnostic test that finds 94% of early-stage (I and II) colon cancers. Cologuard screens for blood as well as 10 different DNA markers in a single stool sample. The test can be requested online or through your healthcare provider.
- A Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is another at-home test to aid in the detection of CRC. This test requires the patient to take a small sample of fecal matter and process the specimen in the provided tube before applying three drops of the solution onto a cassette. The results process is similar to that of an at-home COVID test, with one line showing a negative result and two showing positive.
- BeScreened™-CRC is a simple, blood-based, colorectal cancer screening test specifically intended for those individuals who are unwilling or unable to participate in screening with current recommended fecal-based tests and invasive imaging procedures, such as colonoscopies.
Bone Density Test
A bone density test, also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), measures bone mineral density and assesses the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. This test is particularly important for postmenopausal women and older individuals. Early detection of bone loss allows for preventative measures, such as lifestyle modifications and appropriate supplements, to maintain bone health.
Annual diagnostic tests are an integral part of proactive healthcare. By undergoing these tests regularly, you can detect potential health issues early on and take appropriate measures to prevent complications or manage conditions effectively. Remember to consult your healthcare provider to determine which tests are most suitable for you.
Before you go…