May 2, 2011

Health Screening Provides Valuable Information

It is always too late to have health screening when you have a symptom of diseases. The purpose of health screening is to find and cure the disease at its early stage. People may need to have health screening regularly in order to prevent risks of disease. These days, we all have busy lives with not enough time to take care of ourselves. Some people are afraid of having health screening because of anxiety about a negative diagnosis. However, health screening regardless of a positive or negative diagnosis provides valuable information in managing a patient’s health.
Many people ask me at what age they should start getting health screening and how frequently they should do so. It depends on many intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as a person’s life style. Based on my experience, I’d like to say that 30-year-old is a good age to start an annual health screening. Health screening basically includes a chest X-ray, a Gastroendoscopy, a Pulmonary Function Test, an Electrocardiogram Test (EKG), an abdominal ultrasound test, a physical measurement and a variety of clinical examinations such as blood or urine testing. In addition, a vision test, an auditory test or an intraocular pressure test can be added upon request. The clinical examinations not only test function of internal organs including liver, kidney and pancreas, but also measure levels of hormones or substances, for example, a cholesterol, an albumin and an amylase etc.
Some tests of health screening are affected by digesting process. Therefore, it is best to have health screening starting at 7 to 8 o’clock in the morning and finishing at 10 to 11 o’clock without having breakfast. In Seoul Central Clinic, automatic health screening analyzes and records all data by a computer, which can be done within three hours.
The health screening procedure usually starts with urine test. Buscopanl, a chemical which is injected before the gastroendoscopy test, may interrupt urine flow. So, a urine test should be always performed before the gastroendoscopy test. After the urine test, a venipucture is performed for a blood testing followed by an EKG test. A diagnosis by a doctor will be performed next. Lastly, a patient has a chest X-ray, an abdominal ultrasound test and gastroendoscopy.

A general procedure of health screening:
Urine test -> Venipucture -> EKG -> Diagnosis by a doctor -> Chest X-ray, Abdominal Ultrasound -> Gastroendoscopy, Pulmonary Function Test -> Physical Examination

Staffs in Seoul Central Clinic can modify the procedure of health screening based on customers’ needs. When seeing a result, understanding what those numbers or graphs mean is more important than simply focusing on the words, ‘negative’ or ‘positive.’ Although the result says ‘negative,’ the numbers may represent higher risk for specific disease. Therefore, health screening can guide a patient to have a better life style and also reduces risks.

Jeon Kwon, M.D.
Seoul Central Clinic


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