Regular health screening is an effective way of keeping yourself and your family healthy. Learn more about health screening in this article, and where you can find the recommended health screenings for you and your loved ones.
When you become a mother, ensuring your family’s good health becomes a priority. You might even put the health of your child and loved ones before your own.
But have you ever wondered who will take good care of your child and loved ones if you are unwell?
Looking after your own health is therefore crucial in order for you to look after your family. The question is how can you do that?
One simple way is to schedule regular health screening for yourself and your loved ones.
What is health screening?
Health screenings are simple tests, such as blood tests for high blood cholesterol or diabetes, which are done to detect any health problems early. It is different from diagnostic tests, which are tests done after a person is already showing signs of being ill.
Why is regular health screening so important?
Many diseases are silent and don’t show any signs or symptoms in their early stages. Due to this, they can easily go unnoticed.
The good news is that regular health screening can help detect such diseases in their early stages, which in turn reduces the risk of serious complications, resulting in better health outcomes.
Therefore, it is a good practice for all people, including healthy individuals, to go for regular health screening as it enables you to have a clear understanding of your health status.
Health screening for cervical and breast cancer
In particular, there are two cancer screenings that are recommended for women: (1) Cervical cancer screening and (2) Breast cancer screening.
Understanding cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is the cancer of the neck of the womb, also known as the cervix. It is also the 10th most common cancer in Singapore.
In its early stages, women with this cancer may not experience any symptoms at all, and therefore, not even know that they have this disease.
But the good news is that through screening, it is possible to detect cervical cancer early and prevent the disease from progressing further. Screening for cervical cancer is done via a Pap smear. This is a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes. During the procedure, a small sample of cells is collected from the outer opening of the cervix. This sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
If you experience some discomfort during the procedure, taking slow, deep breaths during the process will certainly help.
Medical experts recommend that all women aged 25 and above, who have ever had sex, should go for a Pap smear once every three years to screen for cervical cancer.
Understanding breast cancer
Another common disease that affects Singaporean women is breast cancer. It is the number one cancer among Singaporean women and the associated risk increases with age.
A screening mammogram is the recommended test to check for breast cancer.
During a mammography process, your breast will be placed between two flat plates and compressed for a few seconds (one breast at a time). You might feel some discomfort during the compression. However, the compression is necessary in order to get a clear x-ray image of your breast tissue.
If someone in your family — perhaps your mother or mother-in-law — is over 50 years of age, it is highly recommended that she goes for a screening mammogram once in every two years.
Everyone knows the adage that “prevention is better than cure” and few would disagree with it. Screening is one of the measures that can prevent disease from occurring. Remember: When you are healthy, it means you can keep your family healthy too!
Where can you learn more about health screening in Singapore? Find out on the next page.