KUALA LUMPUR, Regular health screenings are crucial for every individual to know their health status, echoing the old adage 'prevention is better than cure'. Sunway Medical Centre Resident Medical Officer Dr Wee Hui Yin said that today's society often neglects their health due to the demands of work and pressing responsibilities in a fast-paced world. She said that some people only seek medical treatment when they feel unwell, often forgetting that a disease may have progressed to a worse stage unnoticed. "Diseases that are slow to be detected can become very serious, making treatment more complicated and reducing the chances of full recovery. "According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, only 49 percent of Malaysians underwent health screenings in the last 12 months, meaning the remaining 51 percent did not undergo screenings. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for a shift in healthcare practices, emphasising the importance of regular health screenings as a fundamental as pect of maintaining one's well-being," she said in a statement today. Dr Wee noted that regular health screenings should be emphasised and made a fundamental aspect of maintaining well-being, thus encouraging a healthier society. She said that although health screenings should be tailored to each individual based on gender, age, and family health history, the general guideline is that comprehensive health screenings should be conducted annually, with more frequent screenings possibly required for individuals with specific risks. "The Consensus Guidelines for Adult Health Screening introduced by the Family Medicine Specialists Association of Malaysia recommend that individuals undergo screenings for colon cancer, high blood pressure, Diabetes Mellitus, and Dyslipidemia every year, and for women, screenings for Scoliosis, cervical cancer, and breast cancer should also be included," she said. Dr Wee stressed that preventive health screenings are crucial for identifying risk factors for chronic and non-commun icable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. She said that annual health screenings, including blood tests for cardiovascular health, blood sugar, and blood pressure tests, are essential. "Blood tests help detect markers early, enabling individuals to know their health condition and prepare themselves, change their lifestyles including adopting balanced nutrition and regular exercise to reduce the risk of certain diseases, as well as allowing doctors to treat early signs before it's too late," she said. Dr Wee also advised that when undergoing health screenings with a new doctor, individuals should share their personal and family health history, including previous test results and current medication intake, so that the doctor can provide appropriate advice and treatment. Dr Wee also debunked the misconception that health screenings are only necessary when symptoms are present, or it takes a long time, or it's painful, and only for older people. She said that health screenings aim to monitor and detect health problems before they worsen, even without symptoms, as screenings allow for early detection and intervention. "One important feature of preventive health screenings is the information provided. When patients understand their health conditions and related risks, they become more aware of their own well-being," she said. Source: BERNAMA News Agency