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The Medical Check Up: How and When?

The Medical Check Up: How and When?

11 Jul 2017 dr. Rini Siallagan Articles 41

The Medical Check Up: How and When?

Regular medical check ups with your doctor are always recommended to maintain a healthy life.  However, there are always questions surrounding it; how effective are medical check ups and how would you proceed with them.

A person that regularly undergoes general exams has the benefit of being screened for potential health problems.  Early detection of diseases will give you a better chance for treatment and possibly curing the disease.  The medical exams and screening you need depends on a few factors, such as age, gender, your family history and lifestyle, and whether or not you have any occurring symptoms.

To optimize your next medical check up, you should take into consideration the following factors:

1. Review Your Family and Social History

Diseases often have multiple factors to take into consideration: hereditary factors, environmental factors, and often times a mix of both may contribute to the disease.

It is important to know your family history of diseases.  A family history consists of blood related relatives. Having a family member with a certain disease raises your risk of contracting the same or similar disease. For example hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and coronary artery diseases have genetic factors involved.

In addition to genetic factors, your lifestyle may also affect your health when you are genetically predisposed. A person that is genetically predisposed to diabetes, living with a high carbohydrate diet and a sedentary lifestyle is more likely to contract diabetes compared to a low carbohydrate diet and an active lifestyle.

2. Review Your General Screenings and Vaccinations

People have always wondered whether we will find a cure for cancer.Some cancers are treatable. Screening for cancers and tumors by going through regular check ups may detect the disease early in the process, and by doing so will give your health an advantage. Detecting the disease early is key for your doctors and healthcare providers to plan a proper treatment.

For example, the incidence of colorectal cancer (cancer of your bowels) is raised over the age of 50.  It is recommended that a regular colonoscopy be done every 5 years of a healthy person over the age of 50, as modern medicine is able to detect growth of abnormal tissues (called polyps) before it turns into cancers.  Treating the polyps decreases the risk of developing cancer.

Another example is breast cancer screening.  A simple mammogram done annually for women ages 40 to 44 decreases the risk of a woman developing breast cancer massively, by detecting early changes in the breast.

Vaccinations are also an effective way to avoid preventable infectious diseases. Since the discovery of vaccinations, the incidences of fatal diseases such as meningitis (infection of part of the brain) have gone down.  Vaccinations are not just given regularly to babies and children, but there are also vaccinations for adults.  For instance, the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine gives protection against cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35.  A pneumococcal vaccine for people over the age of 65 gives a degree of protection against pneumonia (infection of the lungs).

There is no general consensus to determine how “routine” your routine medical check up should be.  If you already have a health issue, we highly recommend you to follow up with your specialist or general physician regularly.  In the past, most medical check up groups advocated annual health exams, even with healthy individuals.  Currently, the American Medical Association and other similar groups suggest for adults over 18 years old to have a check-up every five years until the age of 40, and every one to three years over the age of 40.

The purpose of the periodic health examination includes:

  1. Primary prevention of debilitating diseases
  2. To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  3. To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  4. To update clinical data and vaccinations since last check up

What you can expect to be asked during your medical check up:

  1. Your health record and history; updating information on your medical chart is important.  You will be likely asked about dates and results of previous preventive procedures such as mammograms, Pap smear tests, lipid profiles and blood pressure.
  2. A complete and updated family history of diseases
  3. Your past medical history, including a review of medications you are taking or previous surgeries
  4. Information on your workplace, living conditions and leisure activities that influence your health
  5. Your habits such as alcohol use, smoking, recreational drug use, sexual practices and exercise
  6. Information on your normal body functions such as eating, sleeping, urination, bowel function, vision and hearing
  7. Physical examinations
  8. Diagnostic tests such as blood tests, urine tests, and radiological tests (x-rays) which depends on your age, gender and information obtained from the clinical history

Where should I go for my medical check up service?

The best place to go for your routine check up is your regular healthcare provider.  Your regular healthcare provider should already have a complete history of your medical records.

Surya Husadha Hospital offers you services in medical check ups.  Surya Husadha Hospital is located in the center of Denpasar, Bali and is easily reachable from other locations in Bali including Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak, Nusa Dua and Kuta.  We offer services in English, Indonesian and Japanese.  For more enquiry regarding medical check ups or to book appointment, contact us through Facebook, or call or Whatsapp us at +628113851882.

References :

  1. Health Checkup.Medlineplus.2017
  2. Harman JB. The routine medical check-up.Trans Med Soc Land.1972;88:1-11
  3. Do You Need a Yearly Medical Check-Up?]Center for Advancing Health. Available from www.cfah.org
  4. Wellness Checkup: Is an Annual Physical Exam Necessary?- EmedicineHealth