A regular check-up detects illness at an early stage and can prevent illness from occurring. It is very common that many serious conditions are identified on routine medicals such as diabetes, breast lumps, elevated blood pressure, and skin cancers are just a few. The check-up includes routine tests like, pap smears and cholesterol levels. It is also an ideal time to discuss lifestyle factors like smoking, excess weight and stress.
Adults up to 40 years are advised to have a check-up every two years to identify any underlying health problems. Adults over 40 should be seen annually.
The patients health is discussed and a thorough physical examination is performed with relevant investigations arranged. The following procedures will be checked during the consultation:
Certain illnesses have a definite tendency to run in families, Coronary Artery Disease, Diabetes, Glaucoma, Gout, Asthma, Hay Fever and Eczema. Likewise, certain types of cancer such as breast, bowel and prostate cancer and melanoma do occur more commonly in some families. Analysing the family history is an important part of any medical check-up as it allows the patient and the doctor to be aware of these conditions before they occur.
About 20% of Australian adults have high blood pressure. This increases to more than 50% in adults over the age of 65 years. Only one in two people with high blood pressure have had the condition diagnosed.
A high blood cholesterol level is an important risk factor for coronary artery disease. If it is elevated, more specific tests including HDL and LDL cholesterol levels can be arranged by your doctor. Cholesterol and blood sugar needs to be checked yearly for those up to the age of 45-70.
Pap smears and breast checks
Pap smears are recommended in all women who have had intercourse. They should be done every two years up to the age of at least 70 years. Unfortunately, there is a large group of middle-aged women who are not having regular Pap smears. These women are at risk of developing cancer of the cervix. Younger women are becoming more aware of the importance of regular smears. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women. About 13,000 women are diagnosed each year. One in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85. Breast cancer is rare in men. About 100 men are diagnosed in Australia each year. This represents less than 1% of all breast cancers. Although it can occur at any age, breast cancer is more common in older women. The average age at diagnosis is 60. About one-quarter of women who are diagnosed are younger than 50 years of age Breast examinations can also be administered and mammograms arranged if required. For more information, please visit: www.cancer.org.au
*Remember to inform reception staff when booking in for a pap smear, as this requires a long appointment and the doctor needs to be informed before consultation.