Why health screenings are important
Knowing your risk factors for disease is one of the first steps toward prevention and treatment. At Northwell Health, we recommend regular health screening tests so that you truly understand your risk factors. Then you and your primary care physician can work together to address health problems before they start.
Regular health screenings are important for successful treatment because:
- Early detection is key—Many serious conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, don’t show symptoms or warning signs. Even minor health problems should be checked out in case they lead to something more threatening.
- You save money—Preventive care is usually less expensive than treating a health problem once it has started. Annual checkups and health screenings help people stay healthy and avoid expensive care for full-blown illnesses.
- You can avoid serious illness—Many diseases, even serious, are preventable through a healthy lifestyle. People can learn how to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of physical activity and get help to stop smoking or moderate alcohol use.
Health screenings at Northwell Health
Different patients need different health screenings at different ages. To decide what our patients may need, we look at evidence-based guidelines from medical organizations such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
We may recommend one or more of the following health screening tests:
- Blood glucose tests for diabetes
- Blood pressure and cholesterol tests for heart disease
- Colonoscopies or stool tests for colon cancer
- Mammograms for breast cancer
- Pap tests for cervical cancer
- Questionnaires and patient-physician conversations for depression
- Screening for alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- Lung cancer screening
These recommendations are based on the latest scientific evidence that the screenings do help physicians find and treat specific conditions. We change our recommendations as the medical organizations change their guidelines. That means our physicians won’t recommend health screenings that you don’t need.