All about health screenings…and how to get them for little or no cost

April 24, 2013

What are health screenings, and why do I need them?

Health screenings are medical tests that check your risk for certain diseases and conditions.  Getting screened is important—it’s often the first step a person can take toward better health and well-being.  From there, once you know your risks, you can take action by making healthy lifestyle changes that can help lower your risks for disease.

 

What are some types of health screenings?

There are many different types of health screenings available. Some are routine, such as those that test your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body mass index (BMI), and blood glucose.

Then there are screenings that are more specific to you, and your doctor may recommend that you undergo these screenings based on your age, gender, family history, and other risk factors.  Examples of these screenings include tests for bone density, hearing or vision loss, sexually transmitted diseases, and screenings for various types of cancer, such as a mammogram (breast cancer), Pap test (cervical cancer), PSA test for some men over the age of 50 (prostate cancer), or colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test, or sigmoidoscopy (three of the many tests available that can help detect colorectal cancer).

Those are just some of the many examples of health screenings available. Undergoing health screenings is a good idea because it may help identify disease in its earliest—and most treatable—stages.

 

How do I know what types of health screenings are right for me?

Your age, gender, family history, and other factors will come into play when determining which screenings are appropriate for you.  Your doctor will know best, so always talk to your doctor to determine which screenings are right for you.  If you’re a Health Advocate member and don’t currently have a family doctor, call your Personal Health Advocate, who can locate an in-network physician whose hours and location are convenient for you.

The following resources may also be helpful in determining which screenings could be appropriate for you:

 

Where can I find free or low-cost health screenings?

It’s important to note that pharmacies, retailers, and employee health and wellness fairs only offer a limited amount of screenings. Again, your doctor will be your best resource for health screenings, or for giving you referrals to see specialists or other providers for any screenings that your doctor does not perform.

Preventive health screenings are an effective way to identify your risk for disease. For many people, getting screened is the first step to better health.  Once you understand your health risks, you can take steps to reduce your risk, such as exercising regularly, eating a healthier diet, and more. These healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping you improve and maintain your health.


Wellness Events – May

May 3, 2011

As a part of our ongoing effort to find you the best care at the lowest cost, we again bring to you a list of free & low-cost wellness events.

We would like to note that from now on, we will put up these wellness event entries on a monthly basis, editing the post over the course of the month as we find new events – keep an eye out for updates at twitter.com/healthsurvival.

Take a look below for an event near you, and please feel free to leave us a comment if you know of any events we may have missed.

* Denotes a recurring event. Click on the city for full details of the event.

New York City, NY – 50+ Yoga*; Blood Pressure Screenings* Stroke Awareness (May 26th)

Silverdale, WA – Free Women’s Health Seminar w/ health screenings (May 13th; RSVP by May 11th; there’s a 20-person limit) 

Macomb, IL – Diabetes Grocery Store Tour (May 24th, Free: If you have Diabetes or are at risk for it, check this tour out; you can learn how to read labels and decipher the carbohydrate and fiber connection)

National Women’s Health Week  National Women’s Health Week – The link will take you to Women’s Health National Directory of events for NWHW, including health clinics, STD clinics, wellness seminars, and more.

Longboat Key, FL – Free Cancer Support Group* (Mondays)

Sarosta, FL – Natural Breast Health (May 17th); Hearing Health Seminar (May 18th); Free Cholesterol & Diabetes Screenings (May 24th)

Baltimore, MD – Cancer Support Groups* (1st Wednesday of every month); Caregiver Education & Support Group* (1st Wednesday of every month); Free Glaucoma Screening (May 9th); Diabetes Eye Disease and Diabetes Support Group (May 16th); 10th Annual Senior Health & Fitness Day (May 25th); Smoking Cessation Classes (Time & Date of classes depend on location); Free Skin Cancer Screening (May 9th/16th, depending on location); Free Cararact & Diabetic Eye Screening (May 17th)

Hanford, CADate & Time vary by location; call for appointments. Immunizations; Reproductive health clinic services; STD Clinic, Preventive healthcare for adults; Senior Services.

Events from these previous entries are also recurring, so check them out here and here for events near you.


Wellness Events – Week of April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

Hello and good afternoon, once again, here is a list of free and low-cost wellness events, brought to you by the Healthcare Survival Guide.

*Denotes recurring event

Free unless noted otherwise

Seattle, WA: Mindfulness Meditation* (Weds., 12:30 PM); Art Classes for Adults recovering from mental health challenges, addiction, and homelessness (4/19, 2-4 PM).

Detroit, MI:Alcoholics Anonymous* (Sun., Weds., 8:30 – 9:30 PM ); Seminar – Understanding Bi-Polar Disorder (4/19, 7 – 8:30 PM); Diabetes Support Group – Eye Health (4/20, 5:30 – 7 PM. Registration required); Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (4/20, 6 – 8 PM)

Fort Worth, TX: Most require registration. These are all recurring and may or may not occur this particular week. Check link for full details.

Breast Cancer Support Group* (4th Tues. each month); Lupus Support Group* (3rd Sat. each month); Blood Cancer Networking Group* (2nd Thurs. each month); Fibromyalgia Wellness Group* (3rd Sat. each month); Chronic Disease Study and Support Group* (3rd Mon. each month); Support Education Advocacy Group for families/caregivers of children w/ ADD/ADHD, Schizophrenia, Asperger’s or Depression* (3rd Tues. each month); Brain Tumor Support Group* (3rd Thurs. each month); American Cancer Society Support Group (1st Thurs. each month); Stroke Support Group (4th Weds. each month)

That’s all for this week! Here are links from the previous entry for Pennsylvania and Tampa, FL, as many of the events are recurring. We will update as we find more events, otherwise follow us at twitter.com/healthsurvival.

Feel free to add any events that you know of below!


Wellness Events for the Week of April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

Hello and good afternoon! Below is a list of free or low cost wellness events that we have collected in research over this past week. Check it out for an event near you.

* Denotes recurring event.        

Detroit, MI : Health Fair with free and low cost screenings (April 5-6, 9am-3pm); Caregiver Support Group (April 5, 1pm)

Tampa, FL : Alzheimer’s Association Support Groups*; Drug Discount Cards*; Mental Illness Support Groups*; Senior Health Insurance Seminars*; Free/Low Cost Health Clinic (Open 3x/mo.); Free Hearing Screenings*; Parkinson’s, Breast Cancer, Stroke Support Groups* 

Jackson, MS : Cancer Rehab (April 1 – Dec 31)

Topeka, KS :  Free Health Screenings provided by the Washburn School of Nursing (April 8, 9am – 1pm)       

Macomb, IL :  Free Colorectal Cancer Kits are available until April 15

Greensboro, NC :  “Healthy Family Day” (health screenings and seminars; April 9th, Smith High School, 10am-2pm)

Pennsylvania :  Pregnancy and Parenting Seminars*; Postpartum Depression Support Groups*; Free & Low Cost Health Screenings*; Caregiving, Stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS, Depression Support Groups*

That’s all for this week! Many of these links cover events for next week, so be sure to mark your calendars; we will additionally include them in next week’s post. For daily health tips and news updates, follow us at twitter.com/healthsurvival.

If you are aware of any low cost health resources, please feel free to share them in the comments section!


Wellness Events – Week of March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

In our effort to help you keep health costs low while staying healthy, we have researched free and low-cost health & wellness events for this week of March 14, 2011.

(Click link for full details)

Pennsylvania: Pregnancy & Parenting (Mom & Baby Groups; Postpartum Adjustment Support Group), Free & Low Cost Health Screenings (Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg) Colon Cancer Seminars (Prevention, Detection, Treatment), Teen Health, Support Groups

Detroit, MI: Free vision screening, tonight, from 3pm-5pm. Henry Ford Health System-Self Health Center, 23400 Allen, Woodhaven.

Deer Park, NY: Free hearing screenings, this upcoming Saturday, March 19th. In addition to the screenings, there will be a seminar on hearing health. RSVP by 3/17

We will keep you updated as we find more events. For daily updates on wellness events, health news and tips, follow us at twitter.com/healthsurvival.