Health Screenings Save Lives

Health Screenings Save LivesToday, health-conscious men and women are taking charge of their health. They know that early diagnosis could save their lives. And now, using NDIC’s state-of-the-art technology and board-certified physicians, they can be screened for some of the most prevalent and deadly diseases, without a doctor’s order.

What is a Screening Test?
The purpose of screening tests is to detect disease in people who have no symptoms, and, if the disease is present, to detect it early enough to improve survival. Screening tests should be non-invasive, relatively inexpensive, and very sensitive to detecting the targeted abnormality. The screening test most of us are familiar with is mammography, which has proven useful in detecting early breast cancer.

What diseases can be detected?
Lung Cancer: The leading cause of cancer death in the United States, lung cancer kills more people than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. Unfortunately, only 15% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed early enough to have a good chance of cure. The goal of Lung Cancer Screening is to find curable cancers, before they grow and spread.

Breast Cancer: The American Cancer Society estimates that each year over 178,000 American women and 2,000 American men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women between 40 and 55 years of age and is the second overall cause of death among women (exceeded only by lung cancer). Fortunately, the mortality rate from breast cancer has decreased in recent years with an increased emphasis on early detection and screening and the development of more effective treatments.

Coronary Artery Disease: Each year in this country, more than 500,000 people die of coronary artery disease, and more than 1 ½ million are hospitalized due to myocardial infarction (“heart attack”). The process of atherosclerosis, which can cause blockage of the arteries that feed the heart muscle, begins early in life, and 1995 statistics show that more than 30% of heart attack victims are under the age of 65. A screening test that can accurately identify and quantify atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, can in turn help to identify those who are at high risk for heart attack.

Abdominal and Pelvic Conditions: A number of cancers involving the solid organs of the abdomen and pelvis, including cancer of the liver, kidney and ovary, can be detected with a Screening CT before symptoms become apparent. In addition, non-cancerous conditions that require medical evaluation, such as abdominal aortic aneurysms, can be detected by this technique.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of screening?
The clearest benefit of the screening is detecting treatable or curable disease, which has been linked clearly to saving lives. But there is also a great benefit for those in whom no disease is detected, which is the result of the majority of screening tests. It has been proven that mammography, individuals who take charge of their health achieve a heightened sense of empowerment and peace of mind.

One disadvantage is the high level of sensitivity of screening tests. The tests are designed to find potential signs of disease, but not just the disease being screened for. Other abnormalities may be detected and, if found, a referral to your primary care physician or a specialist, as well as further testing, will be recommended.

It is also important to note that screening tests are not designed to detect all types of cancerous or non-cancerous conditions. A NEGATIVE SCREENING TEST DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE FREE OF ALL DISEASE. Similarly, a negative screening test does NOT mean that you should continue unhealthful activities like cigarette smoking. Please note: screening tests may not be covered by your insurance.

NDIC Health Screening Services
» Mammography
» Osteoporosis Screening (DEXA)
» CT Body Screening
» CT Heart Score / Calcium Score
» CT Lung Screening

Health screenings can save lives. Early detection for diseases, such as colon, breast and cervical cancer can improve prognosis dramatically. Screenings to test for diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease should also all be considered. The type of screening needed is based on your age, gender and risk factors for certain conditions. Talk with your doctor to determine what is recommended and make this the year to get screened. The more you know, the healthier you’ll be.

For more information on health screening tests available at NDIC call (239) 593-4200.


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