We’re all guilty of it. Putting it off, finding excuses but we really should take our health more seriously and go for those health checks. It really doesn’t make sense not to. Finding out if something’s wrong sooner rather than later vastly improves our chances for treatment so we’re only our own worst enemy by sticking our heads in the sand. Living in a country where we’re lucky enough to have free healthcare, we should make the most of it!
Over 40 Health Check:
The NHS Health Check is a health check-up every five years for adults, both men and women, in England aged 40-74. It’s designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk.
Getting tested doesn’t have to be the embarrassing health-check that we all imagine! There is a blood test, called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, this measures the level of PSA and may help detect early prostate cancer. Men over 50 can ask for a PSA test from their GP. So, you can keep your pants on for now!
The aim of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme is to reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer and reduce the number who die from it. Cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer, it’s a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. Most changes in the cells, if detected, won’t lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own. But in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous. Going for your test every three years is
Breast Cancer Screening:
About 1 in 8 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. If it’s detected early, treatment is more successful and there’s a good chance of recovery. Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel. As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged 50 to 70 and registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast cancer screening every 3 years.
Bowel Cancer Screening:
The bowel cancer screening test for people aged 60 or over is a kit you use at home. This is used to check for tiny amounts of blood in your poo. It doesn’t diagnose bowel cancer, but it’s a simple way to find out if you need further tests. It’s also called the faecal occult blood (FOB) test. Sounds like something out of a horror movie but we promise it isn’t! All men and women aged 60 to 74 who are registered with a GP in England are automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years. Make sure your GP has the correct address so your kit is posted to the right place.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm:
What a mouthful! Otherwise known as AAA screening is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from your heart down through your tummy. This bulge or swelling is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA. It can be serious if it’s not spotted early on because it could get bigger and eventually burst (rupture). In England, screening for AAA is offered to men during the year they turn 65. Men aged 65 or over are most at risk of AAAs. Screening can help spot a swelling in the aorta early on when it can be treated.
You wouldn’t drive your car without an MOT so why not make sure you get your body vehicle checked out for the road of life ahead!