Am I healthy?

World Health Organization defines health as a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. You can do certain tests or screening to know whether you are healthy or not.

What is screening?

Screening are tests or assessments to detect diseases or abnormal conditions early, when they are easier to treat. For example, if we detect hypertension or diabetes early, we can start to control the condition in order to prevent complications, such as stroke and heart attack. To asses your physical wellbeing, you are advised to screen for :

  • Obesity
  • Hypertension or High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer of cervix
  • Colorectal cancer

Why shall I screen for those conditions?

Heart disease, stroke and cancer are among the major causes of death and hospital admission. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol are the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Control of those conditions early can prevent or minimize the chance to get heart attack and stroke. Breast cancer and cancer of cervix can be treated if detected early. They are the commonest cancers among Malaysian women.

How to screen?

What to measure / test
Obesity Weight and height to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI)
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure Blood pressure
Diabetes Blood Glucose level
High Cholesterol Blood Cholesterol level
Breast Cancer Breast Self Examination
Cancer of Cervix Pap Smear
Colorectal cancer Fecal occult lood test (FOBT) / sigmoidoscopy / colonoscopy

When shall I do screening?

You are recommended to follow this guide:

Test :

  1. Weight and height for BMI
    At least 6-monthly (start screening at 20 years old).
  2. Blood pressure
    At least yearly (start screening at 20 years old).
  3. Blood glucose level
    1. For those with risk factors, yearly screening  earlier than 30 years old.
    2. For those without risk factors, screening starts at 30 years old and repeat yearly
  4. Blood cholesterol level
    If any of your family members have high blood cholesterol level, have your blood cholesterol level checked at least once.
  5. Clinical breast examination
    Every year
  6. Mammogram / ultrasound of breast
    Every 2 years (start screening at 40 years old or earlier)
  7. Pap smear
    Yearly for first 2 years. If normal result, 3 yearly thereafter (start screening at 30 years old or earlier)
  8. HPV testing
    Start testing at 30 years old. If normal, reapeat test every 5 years.
  9. Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
    Yearly, starting at the age of 50 years old until 75 years old for those at low risk. Screen yearly if result is normal
  10. Colonoscopy
    Preferred test for moderate and high risk population. If colonoscopy normal, repeat screening at 3 to 10 years depend on the risk

Where can I get the test done?

Ask your family doctor. All government health clinics, private clinics, private hospitals and private medical laboratories provide those tests, except for Breast Self Examination, which can be done by yourself.

Who shall I consult if I found the test abnormal?

Consult your family doctor or nearby health clinics.

What else can I do to stay healthy?

  • Eat healthily – Eat a variety of food. Balance the food you eat with your physical activity.
  • Be physically active – Be physically active everyday. Exercise at least three times a week, 20 – 30 minutes each session. It will help to maintain or improve your BMI and physical fitness.
  • Do not smoke – Smoking damages your lungs and increases the chances of getting heart attack, stroke and cancers. If you do smoke, try to stop. Consult your doctor.
  • Learn to handle stress – Handle anger to reduce stress.
Last Reviewed : 28 August 2020
Writer : Dr. Othman Warijo
    Dr. A. Khalek Abd Rahman
    Ali bin Puteh
Reviewer : Dr. Nor Faizah bt. Ghazali