Five key areas to check during an important health assessment

Posted in , , by Echelon Health

Just as your car needs an engine check or an oil change before important trips, holidays or during a general MOT, your body also needs maintenance and care throughout the year. What better time to schedule a preventive health screening than before the cold weather sets in again?

In the ideal world being able to say ‘I feel healthy’ would be more than enough and good health would be constant until something serious occurred. However, many serious diseases and health conditions show few, if any, symptoms. For example, in some cases cancer such as kidney or prostate don’t present any symptoms until it is at a late stage where treatment may not help.

So, even when you are feeling good it is important to have regular health assessments as a part of a proactive, healthy lifestyle. Therefore, a preventive health assessment is critical to reduce risk for the future.

The five key areas that you might want to focus on during a health assessment are the brain, heart, blood, bones and cancer screenings.

Read below to find out what kind of tests can be done to check each of these vital areas of your body.

Brain

In 2020 cerebrovascular diseases claimed 27,681 lives. Between 1971-73 and 2016-18 the mortality rates of malignant, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours for females and males combined have increased by 53% (Cancer Research UK, 2021a).

MRI Brain Scan

The MRI brain scan provides a detailed image of your brain that shows any potential tumours or abnormalities. This also includes your inner ears and sinuses. The level of detail achieved with a brain MRI may also show any impairment to the blood flow to the brain or previous asymptomatic small strokes.

MRI Cerebral Artery Angiogram

This scan provides a glimpse at the arteries and veins that are in your brain. It allows for assessment of whether there is any narrowing or malformations as well as check for aneurysms. If the scan shows any evidence of these then you may have an increased risk of stroke or brain haemorrhage.

A preventive health assessment will catch that early!

MRI Carotid Artery Angiogram

The carotid artery angiogram is used to determine whether the arteries that supply blood to the brain show any signs of narrowing. It will help catch these abnormalities and if the risk is severe enough a procedure can be done to prevent any blockages that may otherwise cause a stroke.

Heart

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in 2020 ischaemic heart disease caused 51,979 deaths (ONS, 2021). That is to say that preventable problems with the arteries were responsible for a huge proportion of deaths.

CT Heart Scan

A heart scan will examine the overall health of your arteries. It will check for calcium deposits (called ‘furring up’ of the arteries) which have been known to cause atheroma and has been linked to heart attacks.

CT Coronary Angiogram

During this scan, a dye is injected into a vein in the arm which allows direct visualisation of the inside of your heart arteries. Along with the CT heart scan, it can determine the precise location and severity of atheroma.

The CT coronary angiogram is also very good at visualising ‘soft plaque’ which is an atheroma that has not yet calcified and is most vulnerable to rupturing. This rupture is called the ‘widow maker’ and is the most common cause of sudden death in people who are generally, superficially considered to be healthy.

ECG

An ECG or an electrocardiogram is a test that records the rhythm, rate and electrical activity of your heart. It helps to check for rhythm abnormalities and indicated potential problems if the trace shape is different in any way.

Cancer

There are more than 166,000 cancer deaths in the UK every year. Lung, bowel, breast, and prostate cancers together accounted for almost half (45%) of all cancer deaths in the UK in 2018. They are also preventable if caught early. With preventive measures 832,000 cancer deaths had been avoided in the UK since the 1980s (Cancer Research UK, 2021).

Breast cancer

A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It uses low-dose x-rays to examine your breasts. During this exam, a mammographer will take two or more x-rays of your breast wherein they can see any abnormalities that could be indicative of breast cancer. The more recent digital mammogram stores the images on digital film allowing for more detailed analysis than the traditional single film image.

Prostate cancer

The MRI prostate scan combined with a blood test is the most accurate method of screening for prostate cancer. It can provide clear and detailed images of any abnormalities that may be present.

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and 1 in eight men will likely get prostate cancer.

Colorectal cancer

Bowel or colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK especially for those aged 60 and over (NHS, 2019). To screen for colon cancer a CT colonoscopy scan or a virtual colonoscopy can be done. It looks for colonic polyps and other indications of possible cancer as most cancers form through polyps that have grown in size.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK. A CT chest scan is the most sensitive means of detecting signs of lung cancer as it offers great resolution and can detect abnormalities as small as 2mm. It can also show any infections, damage from exposure to asbestos or bronchiectasis.

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the 5th biggest killer in the UK, with around 9,000 deaths per year (Pancreatic Cancer UK, 2021). If caught at a late stage it is one of the least treatable cancers. A CT abdomen scan can provide a clear picture of your pancreas and help assess any abnormalities that may increase you risk of cancer in the future.

Blood

Blood pressure

Blood pressure is used to describe the strength with which your blood is pushing against your arteries as it is transported around your body. High blood pressure puts a strain on your arteries and organs which in turn increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Cholesterol

High cholesterol usually does not have any signs or symptoms however it can lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that cholesterol screening should be performed every 1-2 years for men aged 45-65 and women aged 55-65. Those over 65 should check cholesterol levels annually (NHLBI, 2021).

Diabetes

Anyone can develop diabetes. Due to various factors, some people have a higher risk. A blood test can indicate if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes even if you do not have it yet and do not exhibit any symptoms. The HbA1c test is the main blood test used to diagnose diabetes (Diabetes UK, 2021).

Bones

CT Bone Density Scan

The bone density scan is an extremely accurate method of measuring the density of your bones to determine the risk of future fractures and check for signs of osteoporosis.

EOS Upright Skeleton

This extremely low dose CT scan looks at your entire body while you are standing up. It helps determine any level of curvature of the spine (scoliosis) as well as any predisposition to spinal disc problems and unequal leg length which may cause discomfort.

Why should you consider a health assessment?

If you wish to improve your health, then a preventive health assessment is a step in the right direction. Thanks to Echelon Health’s preventive health screening you are now able to check your body for all underlying conditions – within the five key areas and more!

We have a selection of packages available for you and your requirements. These will offer you peace of mind that comes with a comprehensive and professional health check.

A thorough health assessment is the best solution to the issues of late detection. For instance, the Platinum Health Assessment with Echelon Health will detect 92% of diseases that may lead to premature death; 94% in women.

A health assessment will highlight any underlying health problems and they can be acted upon; however, it can offer other benefits on top of that.

First, compared to the usual health checks that you get at the GP or a general health clinic, Echelon will offer an in-depth analysis of your health. Compared to other preventive assessments around, we do not use statistical models to predict potential issues – we use concrete data.

Second, we also use the correct test and scan for the correct modality. At Echelon Health we employ state of the art MRI, CT, and Ultrasound scanners. We also perform a fantastic full-body mole screen, ECG, and digital mammogram. Each body part is screened by the correct machine to ensure the best results.

All scans and images are reviewed by our expert team of up to seven consultants who are all specialists in their area.

At Echelon Health we guarantee the most powerful medical technology for your comprehensive health assessments. You can be sure of the accuracy of results and safety of every imaging machine that we utilise.

Health Assessments with Echelon Health

As mentioned previously we know that no single scanner can perform all the checks that are needed to sufficiently assess the whole body for causes of premature death. This knowledge ensures that we leave no stone unturned.

If peace of mind is what you are after, we have an extensive and fully comprehensive assessment that will be perfect for you.

The Platinum Assessment combines the talent of our doctors, nurses and radiologists with the most advanced, cutting-edge medical scanning technology to detect tumours as small as 2mm and assess you for up to 92-94% of the causes of preventable death. We believe this is the most advanced health assessment available worldwide today.

Within the Platinum Assessment we include many of the tests mentioned above (Echelon Health, 2021):

  • Medical Questionnaire & Pre-Assessment
  • Neurocognitive Brain Assessment
  • Blood Tests
  • ECG
  • CT Aorta
  • CT Heart
  • CT Coronary Angiogram
  • CT Chest
  • CT Pelvis
  • CT Virtual Colonoscopy
  • CT Bone Density
  • EOS
  • CT Upright Skeleton
  • MRI Brain
  • MRI Cerebral Artery Angiogram
  • MRI Carotid Artery Angiogram
  • MRI Prostate
  • Ultrasound Thyroid
  • Ultrasound Testes/ Ovaries
  • Digital Mammogram
  • Full Body Mole Screen
  • Final Consultation

Read testimonies from previous satisfied and healthy clients.

If you would like more details download our brochure and do not hesitate to contact us!

 

 

 

Sources:

NHLBI (2021). Blood Cholesterol. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/blood-cholesterol (Accessed 28/10/2021).

Diabetes UK (2021). Getting tested for diabetes. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/test-for-diabetes (Accessed 28/10/2021).

NHS (2019). Bowel cancer. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/ (Accessed 28/10/2021).

Pancreatic Cancer UK (2021). Pancreatic cancer statistics. Available at: https://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/what-we-do/media-centre/pancreatic-cancer-statistics/ (Accessed 28/10/2021).

ONS (2021). Total deaths in the UK in 2020 and deaths from heart attacks, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s and dementia, 2016 to 2020. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/freedomofinformationfoi/totaldeathsintheukin2020anddeathsfromheartattacksheartdiseasecancerandalzheimersanddementia2016to2020 (Accessed 28/10/2021).

Cancer Research UK (2021). Cancer mortality statistics. Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/mortality#heading-Zero (Accessed 28/10/2021).

Cancer Research UK (2021)a. Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours mortality statistics. Available at:  https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/brain-other-cns-and-intracranial-tumours/mortality#heading-Two (Accessed 28/10/2021).

Echelon Health, (2021). The Body Map. Available at: https://www.echelon.health/the-body-map/ (Accessed 28/10/2021).