Medical check-ups, or health screenings, are of utmost value to every one of us, be it young or old. Living in the age of scientific advancement, we ought to know that a large number of diseases have the tendency to remain silent. Health screening plays a crucial role in detecting illness, especially in its early stage. Early detection can make a huge difference in our lives. In order to control, or even prevent them, we need to identify them early on.
As the age old saying goes, “prevention is always better than cure”. This might sound intuitive, but how many of us really make it a point to go for annual medical check-ups? And if we do not go for our medical check-ups, how can we detect early warning signs that our body is signalling to us?
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Types of medical check-ups
There are various types of medical check-ups that one should go for on an annual basis. This ranges from common health diagnostics like blood and urine tests to gender-specific tests like mammogram (breast cancer).
1. Full health screening
In Singapore, you can opt to undergo a full health screening either at private clinics, polyclinics or public hospitals. Each of these medical facilities offers full-fledged health screening that includes comprehensive blood and urine tests, electrocardiogram (ECG) and cholesterol testing. Through a full health screening, you will be able to check for any early warnings for common problems like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. Your doctor will also help you check for any suspicious activity within your body that might be malignant.
There are different tiers of health screening that you can opt for. The most basic tier of health screening, sometimes known as core health package, will cost $70-$100 at polyclinics or hospitals.
Screen for life programme for Singaporeans
Starting in September this year, Singapore’s Ministry of Health rolled out the Screen For Life programme to encourage more Singaporeans to go for screening and post-screening consultation.
Singaporeans aged 40 and above can get themselves tested for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer. This would only cost $5! Also, the screening is free for Pioneer Generation Singaporeans and costs only $2 for Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) cardholders. The screening can be done at all the clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas).
2. Mammogram tests for women
Based on cancer statistics from the National Cancer Centre of Singapore, breast cancer is the top cause of death among women. And out of every four cancer diagnoses among Singaporean women, one is diagnosed with breast cancer.
According to SingHealth, breast cancer affects approximately 1 in 11 women in their lifetime (to age 99) in Singapore. Each year, 1,850 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. The mortality of breast cancer patients is over 400 deaths per year.
Prevention is better than cure; but early detection is still important
One way to avoid breast cancer is to take preventive measures like exercising more, eating right or drinking less alcohol.
Yet, sometimes even when we lead a healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t make us immune. There is a still a likelihood of being hit by breast cancer, no matter how small the chance is. To protect yourself and increase your chance of survival, early detection is key. If any symptom is discovered at an early stage, you increase your chance of survival as there are a lot more treatment options available to you.
Three types of breast cancer screenings
There are three types of screenings that you can undergo: self-examination, clinical examination, and mammography. Mammography screening is by far the best way to detect any early signs of breast cancer. This is because mammography screenings can identify lumps way before they’re big enough to feel through self-examination.
Under the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) and Ministry of Health’s Screen for Life programme, each mammogram screening will cost $50. The subsidised mammogram screening will be done in the Polyclinics located in the neighbourhood. This applies for all female Singaporeans above the age of 50. You can use either your own Medisave or your family member’s Medisave to pay for the screening. For those who are below age 50, mammogram screenings will cost between $50-$200 depending on whether you do it at the polyclinic, hospital, or at the private clinics.
Sign up for your annual check-up today!
Early detection and intervention are important in preventing and managing health problems. If we find it difficult not to give in to food temptations, the least we could do is to schedule annual checks. If you have yet to undergo your health screenings, why not take action and sign up for one today?
When paying for your check-ups, if you’re having it in a hospital, you’ll be happy to know that the BOC Family Card gives you 5% cashback on hospital bills. Otherwise, cashback cards for all-category cashback would be the next best choice for the bills.
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