More and more Brits are opting for health screenings to detect life threatening illnesses, but pat...
Could health screenings save your life?
More and more Brits are opting for health screenings to detect life threatening illnesses, but patients are being warned not to undergo any unnecessary treatment as a result.
Occasional screenings are being touted as a cheaper and more efficient way to target health problems than private medical insurance, as patients can decide to wait on the NHS or pay for individual operations if screenings identify any health problems.
Specialist screenings, which cost between £450 and £790, can be effective at picking up the early signs of heart disease and cancer. Bupa Wellness recently published research which showed that one-third of its attendees found a medical condition they weren't aware of and 75% decided to change their lifestyles after the assessment.
But some experts have also suggested that screenings can flag up benign conditions and lead to patients seeking unnecessary treatment. This has been a particular criticism of breast cancer screenings, which have led to false alarms and 'over diagnosis' of early cancerous cells which may otherwise disappear of their own accord.
Insurers maintain that these assessments save lives. Lifespan reports that its CT health scans reduce the chances of heart problems by 30% and reduce the chances of dying from colon and lung cancer by at least 90% and 20% respectively.
Moreover, many employers now offer cheap or even free screenings through company health insurance schemes. One of the most popular types of screenings is a no-frills check-up that can cost between £50 and £150 - this is often covered by health cash plans available in the workplace.