General Vs Cancer-Focused Health Screenings: Why They Matter

According to the most recent Singapore Disease Burden Statistics, some of the leading illnesses in Singaporeans are hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity1. If left unchecked, these health issues can worsen and lead to more serious ailments in the long run, including cancer.


Undergoing frequent health screenings have proven effective in detecting these issues early on, allowing health specialists to intervene and provide patients with optimal treatment outcomes. However, despite its importance, the tests conducted by these screenings are often not sufficient in discovering more problematic illnesses, such as cancer. And that’s where Cancer-Focused Health Screenings come in. These procedures focus more on revealing any cancer-related diseases that may evade the regular ones. Discover how these two screenings differ from each other in their goals and tests involved.



General Health Screenings


General health screenings typically involve and begin with a physical examination, which includes taking one’s bio-physical measurements such as weight and height, body mass index (BMI), visual acuity, and blood and urine tests. Blood testing usually looks at the patient’s total blood count, cholesterol levels, sugar levels, and kidney and liver function.


The findings of blood tests can reveal health issues such as anaemia, abnormal immune cells, diabetes, and more. On the other hand, urine tests can reveal signs of early kidney diseases, such as kidney stones, infections, and tumours. Often, chest X-rays and electrocardiograms are included in the screening package. The former scans for any abnormalities in the lung, whilst the latter screens for potential heart diseases.


Cancer-Focused Health Screenings


Cancer-Focused Health Screenings are more specialised and primarily aims to detect cancer and cancer-related diseases so that they can be treated accordingly before they worsen. Even when they are asymptomatic, spotting cancer early allows for prompt treatment, and consequently, higher chances of a full recovery or successfully managing them in the long run.


ICS offers cancer screening tests in Singapore that detect a wide range of cancers, including the top three occurring cancers at the lung, breast and colon. Led by a qualified and experienced team comprised of oncology clinicians, healthcare managers and medical specialists, we will guide you through the process and provide you with priceless peace of mind so you can live your life free of any worries.


Below is a list of the tests covered in our Core Cancer Screening package:


· Medical Specialist Consultation

· Detailed Medical History Analysis

· Blood tests (Full Blood Count, Lipid/ Cardiac Risk Profile, Bone/ Join Profile, Hepatitis Profile, Thyroid Profile, Kidney and Liver Function Test, Diabetic Panel, Cancer Markers (Liver, Colorectal, Pancreas, Ovary, Breast, ENT), STD Screen, Urine FEME/ Stool Occult Blood

· Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)

· Chest X-Ray

· Ultrasound Abdomen


Upon request and depending on your needs, individuals can also add an MRI or PET scan, mammogram or ultrasound for the breast, pelvis, prostate and carotid for a more holistic examination.


How Often Should You Go For A Health Screening?


Health and cancer screenings will mainly depend on the individual’s age, health status, and family history. For instance, getting screened for obesity and hypertension is recommended for people aged 18 years and above, whilst diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and colorectal cancer are recommended for those aged above 40 and 50 years old, respectively. If you wish to learn more, check out the Health Promotion Board’s Screen for Life Programme3 via their website.


Conclusion


As the saying goes: “Health is wealth.” Undergoing regular health and cancer screenings is crucial in maintaining our well-being to enjoy our lives to the fullest. To know which tests will benefit you the most, get in touch with us so we can further advise on your next steps.


At ICS, we provide health and cancer diagnosis and treatment in Singapore. Our Cancer-Focused Health Screening packages offer a complete suite of tests that provide you with everything you need to know about your overall health. We also offer additional tests that include more in-depth tests.


In conclusion, health screenings should never be put off for whatever reason, even if one feels healthy and notices no symptoms. There are plenty of diseases that remain undetected until it’s too late, and regular screenings are valuable tools in potentially saving you or your loved one’s life.


References


1. MOH | Disease Burden. (2019). Retrieved 14 July 2021, from https://www.moh.gov.sg/resources-statistics/singapore-health-facts/disease-burden


2. Report of the Screening Test Review Committee. (2019). Retrieved 14 July 2021, from https://www.ams.edu.sg/view-pdf.aspx?file=media%5c4817_fi_59.pdf&ofile=STRC+Report+March+2019.pdf


3. Health Promotion Board. Retrieved 14 July 2021, from https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/61/Screen_for_Life