The importance of Preventative Screening

By: Dr Robby Bajaj, Partner at Primarius Clinic

Published Date: 3 December 2020


Dr Robby Bajaj is a partner at Primarius Clinic, located at The Royal Brompton Hospital Specialist Unit at 77 Wimpole St. Central London. With over 15 years' experience in private preventative medicine, Dr Bajaj has developed one of the most advanced and comprehensive screening programmes in Europe, with links to world class diagnostics and facilities in Central London.


Preventative Screening - 5 top tips


1. Take control of your own health

2. Consider your family history for targeted screening

3. Consider screening cancer and cardiovascular risk with advanced diagnostics

4. Discuss both your physical and mental health, implement advice and set realistic targets

5. Consider the intervals between screening to invest in your long-term health


1. Take control of your own health

Coronavirus has brought us all face-to-face with the reality of health in the UK. The knock-on effect is that people have been deterred or put off seeking help or advice about their own health. As we hear some positive news with the rollout of vaccines, we also need to take control of our own health, and spend time considering what is the best way to do this.

It is important to know your numbers, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes risk and general blood profile, but consider that we now have access to more advanced imaging diagnostics. From these, we can get to the root cause of any issues early, and allow these to be dealt with in a timely manner. We invest in many routine practices in our life, but often health is overlooked. By investing in preventative screening, you can be more involved in your own health and lifestyle habits, to give yourself a better opportunity for long-term wellbeing and health outcomes.


2. Consider your family history for targeted screening

No single test in medicine can tell you your future, but advances in screening and genetic testing can give you the tools to be more prepared. Knowing your family history is key, as you potentially have a higher risk for those relevant conditions, and you can then target your screening appropriately to give you peace of mind. This may involve blood tests, scanning with modalities such as ultrasound, CT or MRI, which are now more accessible and give you accurate information.


3. Consider screening cancer and cardiovascular risk with advanced diagnostics

We know the commonest causes of death are cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and cancer. So how can we really screen these conditions accurately? Is doing a blood test really enough? In many cases, blood tests may provide information on risk and do contribute to the overall picture, but they often get interpreted in isolation, without understanding your true risk.


The 4 commonest cancers: Breast, Prostate, Colon and Lung cancer account for over 50% of cancers.

What types of tests are now available for these conditions?


  • Breast Cancer - 3D mammography, Ultrasound

  • Prostate Cancer - PSA blood test, digital examination, mp MRI (multi-parametric MRI) prostate

  • Colon Cancer - Colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy with CT scan, non-invasive stool FIT test

  • Lung Cancer - Chest x-ray, but more accurate is CT lung for those who meet clinical criteria

  • Stroke risk - ECG, Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), Ultrasound of carotid arteries, blood tests

  • Heart Disease risk - ECG, virtual coronary angiogram with CT, stress Echocardiogram, perfusion scans, blood tests

4. Discuss both your physical and mental health, implement advice and set realistic targets

Take time in your screening to discuss both your physical and mental health, as giving attention to both in a more prolonged discussion will help with your wellbeing and to set goals. Set yourself realistic targets which are achievable, and consider alternatives to the status quo. Take time to review your exercise, nutrition, sleep patterns, psychological health and resilience. The key is then to implement the advice in steps, and monitor your progress.


5. Consider the intervals between screening to invest in your long-term health

It is helpful and more motivational to review your progress, as well as screening for any new medical issues, at dedicated time intervals. We would recommend you undertake a comprehensive review of your health using our own guideline for private preventative checks:


>30years age, consider screening every 3 years

>40years age, consider screening every 1.5 - 2 years

>50years age, consider screening every 1 year


Diagnostic tests do not need to be repeated at these intervals, as some of these diagnostic tests can give prognostic data for many years, but this depends on your overall health and family history, and should be discussed with the Doctor. For more information, you can review www.primariusclinic.com


How we keep a track of your health records is a key consideration for advanced screening, as you will see from the tips above, there are many types of diagnostics and investigations. HeartHealth www.hearthealth.org.uk is a great app to link with, as it allows you to keep a record of all these tests, which is especially important if you are doing regular checks and have data and scans you want to access easily. Also, by having the information in your hand, it is much easier to show a Consultant Specialist any scans or results if you need to be referred and need a medical opinion. Take control of your health, and own it in your pocket!


The importance of Preventative Screening by Dr Robby Bajaj, Partner at Primarius Clinic

HearthealthNews.info - 3 December 2020

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