Preventative health screening
Prevention is better than cure. Your GP can ensure that you are up to date with recommended health screenings to pick up any issues early, so they can be managed well.
Cervical screening (previously known as a PAP smear) is recommended for those with a cervix aged 25-74 years. Cervical screening checks for HPV, which can cause cervical cancer. Picked up early, this can be managed. Check with your GP at your next appointment to ensure you are up to date.
Mammographic screening at BreastScreen SA for breast cancer is recommended to detect early breast cancer for those aged 50-74 years of age. You may choose to attend screening from the age of 40 years. If you have symptoms of breast cancer (lump, skin/nipple changes) please see your GP urgently for review. If you are concerned or have a family history of breast cancer, discuss this with your GP to determine the best screening for your situation.
Bowel cancer is not glamorous, but is the third most common cancer diagnosed in Australians. Bowel cancer screening can help pick up early bowel cancer, where treatment is most likely to be curative. From 50-74 years of age you will be sent a bowel cancer screening kit every two years. This poo test may save your life – take the test! If you have symptoms (change in bowel habit/poo, blood in your poo, abdominal pain/bloating/cramping, pain in your bottom, weight loss, unexplained fatigue) see your GP urgently for further testing. If you have a family history of bowel cancer, check in with your GP to assess your risk and how best to screen.
1. Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is common, and causes ¼ of deaths in Australia. Do you know your cardiovascular risk and how to keep your heart healthy? Your GP can check your blood pressure and cholesterol, review your family history and give you advice on how to reduce your risk. Book with your GP to check your heart health.
2. Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is when the body becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to be stored in the cells of your body. With insulin resistance those with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar levels, which can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and eyes. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing diabetes yourself. We can slow or reverse type 2 diabetes with dietary and lifestyle changes. Check in with your GP to assess your diabetes risk and check your blood sugar.
Prostate cancer is often in the media and many men have previously been hesitant to see their GP, worried they will need an internal examination as a part of their check. Certainly, as a part of early detection testing, internal examination is no longer recommended as routine. This can be appropriate after discussion with your GP. There is a blood test available that can assist with early detection of prostate cancer, but there are a variety of benefits and harms with it. We would encourage you to discuss with your GP if this is appropriate for you. Most men would have the PSA blood test every 2 years from the age of 50. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, please discuss this with your GP so they can determine the right age for you to begin having testing.
Osteoporosis is low bone density, and increases your risk of having a broken bone. This can be serious as you get older. Some health conditions may increase your risk of low bone density, including coeliac disease, kidney problems and early menopause. Adequate vitamin D and dietary calcium and weight bearing exercise can reduce your risk of low bone density. Your GP can help review your risk and may order a bone density check if you need.
Vaccines help reduce your risk of serious disease. Routine childhood vaccinations are recommended. For those with underlying health conditions, or aged over 65 years, certain vaccinations are recommended. Chat with your GP to discuss your situation and ensure you are up to date. Further information can be found here.