The screens below yield significant results that are meaningful for anyone seeking their best possible health. Each is worth 40 points and can only be logged once during any 52-week timeframe.
You will need to make an appointment and/or work through your provider to schedule these tests, which may or may not be covered by your insurance. Be sure to check, as many insurance plans now include more preventative care options. Log these tests online and on your Event Tracker Sheet and be sure to bring your receipt or a copy of your test results as proof of the test when redeeming your points.
Here is a brief description of what is involved in each test.
Either the standard walking treadmill test or FHN's calcium-scoring cardiac heart scan can help identify issues that could lead to a heart attack.
The treadmill test measures your coronary blood flow while you walk on a treadmill. You must be able to walk for this test.
The heart scan utilizes special electron beam computed tomographic techniques to visualize the coronary arteries. The examination is noninvasive and can be completed within a matter of minutes.
This screening is usually a part of a routine gynecological exam and should include a pelvic exam, Pap test and an HPV (human papillomavirus) screen. During the pelvic exam, your provider will check your uterus, ovaries, and other organs to make sure there are no problems. During the Pap test, the doctor will use a plastic or metal instrument, called a speculum, to widen your vagina. This helps the doctor examine the vagina and the cervix, and collect a few cells and mucus from the cervix and the area around it. The cells are then placed on a slide or in a bottle of liquid and sent to a laboratory. Results are communicated to you by your provider when they are received back from the lab, usually within a week or two.
FOBT (fecal occult blood test colon screening) if under age 50 or colonoscopy (or option such as barium enema) if over 50
A fecal occult blood (FOBT) test finds blood in the stool by placing a small sample of stool on a chemically treated card, pad, or cloth wipe. Some providers may ask you to do this yourself with a kit they provide; others may perform the test themselves during a physical or other exam.
A colonoscopy is a more involved procedure and requires preparation ahead of time (special diet). Someone also should be available to take you home afterward since sedatives are used. The doctor inserts a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope, or scope, into the anus and slowly guides it through the rectum and into the colon. The scope inflates the large intestine with carbon dioxide gas to give the doctor a better view. A small camera mounted on the scope transmits a video image to a computer screen, allowing the doctor to carefully examine the intestinal lining. The doctor may ask you to move periodically for better viewing. A doctor can remove growths, called polyps, during colonoscopy and later test them in a laboratory for signs of cancer. Colonoscopy usually takes 30 to 60 minutes and results are generally available through your provider within a week or two.
This group of tests can determine risk of coronary heart disease or attack and stroke by checking for blockage of blood vessels or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerois). The lipid profile typically includes:
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm. You need to fast for 9-12 hours before having your blood drawn; only water is permitted. Results are communicated to you through your provider.
A mammogram allows the doctor to have a better look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a physical breast exam. It is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly into a computer for a doctor called a radiologist to examine. During a mammogram, you stand in front of a special x-ray machine. The technician places your breasts, one at a time, between an x-ray plate and a plastic plate. These plates are attached to the x-ray machine and compress the breasts to flatten them. This spreads the breast tissue out to obtain a clearer picture. You will feel pressure on your breast for a few seconds. It may cause you some discomfort; you might feel squeezed or pinched. This feeling only lasts for a few seconds, and the flatter your breast, the better the picture. Most often, two pictures are taken of each breast one from the side and one from above. A screening mammogram takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. Results are available from your provider within a week or two.
This screening measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is a protein produced by the prostate. Although many men with prostate cancer have an elevated PSA concentration, a high level does not necessarily mean there is a cancer. Other causes include benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate, and prostate infection (prostatitis) or trauma, such as from bicycle riding. Finding out what the problem is necessary before treating it. You should avoid ejaculating or riding a bike for at least 48 hours before having a PSA test. In addition to this blood test, a rectal examination is often recommended. Your provider will communicate the results of your test to you.
This screening is like a survey. Some providers go through the screening with you in person and others may want you to take it on your own and then bring it to their office to review the results with you. Depression is often caused by hormonal imbalances or other physical conditions that can be effectively treated to reduce or even completely eliminate depression symptoms. Results from a depression screening will be reviewed with you by your provider, often at the time of the screening.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. It is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep, resulting in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea can occur in anyone and untreated, it can:
Your provider will test you for sleep apnea by asking you a number of questions in tests such as the Berlin Questionnaire and the Epworth sleepiness scale. Some patients may be asked to spend some time sleeping in a sleep clinic where they can be observed. The length of time it takes to receive results depends on the screenings that are conducted. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can usually treat sleep apnea successfully.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with over 1 million new cases annually. It has been estimated that nearly half of all Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer at least once. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most easily treated forms of cancer when it is found early. The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth or a sore that will not heal.
Your provider will examine your skin visually in a skin cancer screen. If there are any concerns, further tests may be scheduled.
Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care. During an exam, the dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and identify gum inflammation or bone loss as well as evaluate your risk of developing tooth decay and other oral health problems. Your face, neck and mouth will also be checked for abnormalities. A dental exam may also include dental X-rays or other diagnostic procedures. Any problems, such as cavities, are usually identified during the exam and then addressed in follow-up appointments.