What is preventive screening?
Preventive screening tests allow your physician to diagnose diseases in their earliest stages. These tests also provide information about your risk of developing certain conditions.
In addition to enabling your physician to treat a disease before it impacts your quality of life, preventive screenings can also help you change your lifestyle to prevent the disease from occurring at all.
What preventive screening tests are available?
The team at Coral Gables Cardiology Associates, P.A. provides comprehensive preventive screening tests as part of their concierge medicine program. This testing is either done directly in the office or arranged for you to have done at an approved center.
Preventive screening is aimed at preventing the leading causes of mortality in your age demographic, including:
- Blood cholesterol panel: High cholesterol increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis (blockages) in your blood vessels. A blood test reveals your cholesterol levels, which impact your cardiovascular health. In some cases, specialized cholesterol testing (such as lipid particle size and lipoprotein levels) can uncover additional risk beyond the routine panel.
- Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) Score: The level of calcium present in your heart arteries is the single best predictor of a future heart attack. This score can be obtained using a simple low dose CT scan.
- Colonoscopies: You should have a colonoscopy around the age of 50 to screen for colorectal cancer or earlier if you have a family history. Diagnosing and treating it early can save your life.
- Mammograms: Most women should start to have annual mammograms around the age of 40. Mammograms can reveal abnormal breast tissue that you might not feel during a manual breast exam.
- Pap smear: Women should start getting routine Pap smear testing at age 21 to help prevent cervical cancer or find it early.
- Carotid artery ultrasound: This test can identify dangerous plaques that are present in the arteries in your neck. These cholesterol plaques can lead to devastating strokes when they move to the brain. Identifying these early can be critical to preventing a stroke.
- Abdominal aortic ultrasound: This test can identify large aneurysms in the abdominal part of your aorta which can cause death if they rupture. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all men between age 65-75, who have ever smoked, or anyone with a family history of an abdominal aneurysm, have this testing done.
- Vaccinations for the flu, as well as pneumonia, can help prevent you from developing these lower respiratory tract infections, which are one of the leading causes of death.
- Bone density screenings: It may be surprising to learn that hip fractures have a high mortality rate in patients over 65. Bone density screenings, commonly referred to as DEXA scans, check the health of your bones to help diagnose osteoporosis, which increases your risk of severe bone fractures and related complications.
Why should I have preventive screenings?
Preventive screening tests allow the team to monitor your health and identify changes. They can take early action to improve your health before you become sick or develop disruptive symptoms. This helps you stay healthy and avoid distressing and health problems in the future.
Speak to your physician to learn more about the preventive screening programs offered at Coral Gables Cardiology Associates, P.A.
We serve the greater Miami, Florida area. Call us to book your appointment today.