Preventive screenings help you understand your state of health.
Health screenings look for the risk or presence of a wide variety of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer, to name a few. When done regularly, screenings can help pinpoint many problems early, when they may be corrected with lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising or taking medication.
Having the right screenings at the right time is vital.
Let’s Talk About It
“When — or even if — you need certain screenings depends on many factors, including your age, family history and other medical issues you may be living with,” said Ron Waldridge II, MD, physician executive at KentuckyOne Health Medical Group and family practice physician with KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates. “It’s best to have a relationship with a primary care doctor who can help you make smart screening decisions.”
Use your annual wellness visit as an opportunity to talk with your primary care doctor about screenings and check in regularly about any other medical concerns that may arise. Together, you and your doctor can design a wellness plan that uses screenings and preventive measures to help you stay healthier, longer.
Speak with your primary care physician to learn more about each type of health screening.
Looking for Lung Cancer
Statistically, cancer occurs more frequently in Kentucky than anywhere else in the U.S., and lung cancer in particular is a serious health concern in the Commonwealth.
“Hearing you have cancer is devastating,” said Hilary Deskins, RN, manager of cancer prevention services with KentuckyOne Health. “Our lung cancer screening program helps us diagnose this potentially deadly disease early. That’s important, because catching it early saves lives. According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, ours is the largest screening program in the United States.”
A lung cancer screening is done using a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan.
Patients qualify for the screening who:
- Are ages 55 to 80
- Have a 30-pack-year smoking history (the equivalent of smoking one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years)
- Haven’t had a chest CT scan in the last year
- Don’t already have symptoms of lung cancer
- Still smoke or quit within the last 15 years
This article originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine. To receive more wellness news and information, subscribe today.