There are few things in life worse than being sick! Not only do you usually feel rubbish, but it can get quite expensive. Luckily, there are steps we can take to prevent a bunch of nasty ailments coming our way. Let’s talk about preventative tests.
Sadly, adulthood and parenthood have left many of us with a bunch of responsibilities we simply cannot ignore, and one of those is to make sure we stay in good health.
Looking after your health comes with a few easy wins like exercising regularly, eating healthy and avoiding overindulging in things like alcohol.
Health checks may require a trip to your local pharmacist, GP or specialist doctor and simply shouldn’t be avoided. Here are a few of those preventative tests you could get done to ensure you’re fit and healthy for years to come.
Mammogram and Breast Self-exam
A mammogram is a screening for breast cancer and involves a trip to a radiology department for X-rays. It’s recommended that women over the age of 45 go for a mammogram every two years, but if your family has a history of breast cancer, you should consult your doctor as earlier screenings might be necessary.
It’s advisable that women begin practising breast self-exams from the age of 20 and continue doing so throughout their lives. A breast self-exam helps detect any abnormalities. Discovering breast cancer in the early stages will make treatment more effective.
Diabetes and Prediabetes
Diabetes is a tricky disease as many of us could be very close to being prediabetic. The simplest test for diabetes is a glucose test which returns a percentage result. You’re regarded as normal right up until you hit 5.6% on the scale, prediabetic when you show as 5.7%, and diabetic from 6.5%.
Getting a regular glucose test is recommended if you‘re over 45 years of age, overweight, obese or have a history of diabetes in your family. Speak to your GP if you’re concerned, as diabetes is incurable.
A prostate exam is a physical exam that can be carried out by your GP, where the prostate in men is checked for any abnormalities. A regular test after the age of 55 is recommended, but if you have a history of prostate cancer – or cancer in general – in your family, you should speak to your GP about earlier checks.
There’s also a blood test, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which can check for elevated antigen levels that can indicate the presence of cancer cells.
A pap smear is a sample taken from the cervix to check for the presence of cervical cancer and HPV (human papillomavirus).
If you’re sexually active you should have a pap smear once a year up until the age of 65. This is usually done by a gynaecologist.
A cholesterol test will check your blood for the presence of both good and bad cholesterol. Your test will return a number for each type, and ideally you’ll want a normal range in both. High cholesterol can cause a build-up in your arteries, causing them to narrow that may result in a stroke or heart attack.
You should get your skin checked for moles and lesions each year by a dermatologist. Anyone with a history of skin cancer in the family or who spends a lot of time working in the sun should be extra cautious.
Keep an eye out for any strange spots that appear or grow quickly, as well as scabby spots that struggle to heal properly over time. These can be early warning signs of skin cancer.
To keep your teeth healthy, you should get them checked by a dentist once a year. All GetSavvi Health members who have Day-to-day Benefits have access to basic dentistry. Don’t take it for granted as you only have one set of teeth!
Getting your eyes tested is something you should do regularly, especially if you start to experience headaches or blurry vision. Eye tests become more important as you get older, when the danger of cataracts increases. If you have a family history of eye disease, you should consult your GP about whether or not you need to be tested more often.
GetSavvi Health members have access to the optometry benefit on our top-up plans.
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer for a reason. You should try to have your blood pressure checked every two years and if it’s high, you should get it checked once a year thereafter. Sufferers of diabetes, heart disease or kidney conditions should be checked more regularly.
If you’re sexually active you should be tested for HIV regularly. If you’re sleeping with multiple partners or suspect that your partner is doing so, then you should get tested more than once a year. HIV tests are free and painless, but HIV is incurable and will drastically change your life and that of those you love. Take the time and get tested!
FeelBetterFast screenings and vaccinations
Preventative healthcare, or prophylaxis, are measures taken for the prevention of disease.
GetSavvi Health firmly believes in the importance of preventative care by promoting healthier lifestyles. Therefore, our FeelBetterFast and Preventative Benefits do just that: to detect and prevent the onset of disease and treatment before it progresses.
10 Health Screenings All Women Should Have
Screening Tests for Common Diseases
Health screenings for women ages 18 to 39
Health screenings for men ages 40 to 64
Get the Screening Tests You Need