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Health Screening 

learn how to interpret your screening results and take the next steps towards better health
 
 
body measurements

Body measurements

 

Our nurse or doctor measures your weight, height, blood pressure, pulse and other bedside tests to determine your current state of physical health. 

 

Limitations

Some body measurements, such as blood pressure, will vary from day to day so we recommend these results be repeated on more than one occasion to get an average picture. Most of the tests can be done at home or in your local pharmacy.

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Body Mass Index


BMI is a measure of how proportionate your weight is to your height. The formula is BMI = Weight (kg) / (Height (m))2 . Having a high BMI increases your risk of cardiovascular disease because it generally means you are carrying excess fat, especially around the midsection (waistline). What are the limitations? If you have extra weight due to other reasons, your BMI will be falsely-raised eg. Muscle bulk, pregnancy, fluid. A raised BMI without a corresponding rise in Waist Circumference does not carry an increased cardiovascular risk, especially if excess fat is not the reason for the raised BMI. What should I do about an abnormal result? The normal range for BMI is 18 - 25. Below 18, you would be considered underweight, above 25 overweight and above 30 is considered obese. Overweight and obese carry an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. If your increased BMI is due to excess fat, you need to lose weight to reduce it. Very simply, you must burn more calories (by exercising) than you consume (by eating).
Burning more calories means taking any opportunity for extra exercise. Build a habit of engaging in moderate exercise (eg a brisk walk) for 30 minutes, 3 times per week. This can sometimes be done on your lunch break. Take the stairs, rather than the lift. Take your children or pets for physical activity at the weekend. Consuming fewer calories means paying attention to the calorie content of your current diet. This information is available on the food labels or, for home cooked food, by using calorie estimator websites. Add up your average total daily calories, then reduce it by eating lower-calorie options or by just reducing your portion sizes. Maintaining a steady calorie-reducing diet and exercise habit tends to be more successful than crash diets.




Blood Pressure


A cuff is inflated around your arm to measure the pressure of blood within your artery. The larger value is called systolic and the smaller value is called diastolic. Consistently high blood pressure (Hypertension) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. What are the limitations? It is recommended to have blood pressure readings taken on more than one occasion to diagnose Hypertension. This can be done by your GP or by buying a home blood pressure monitor. An elevated blood pressure may also be due to a condition known as "white coat syndrome", where your blood pressure is elevated due to the stress of having it checked by a doctor or nurse. What should I do about abnormal results? The ideal blood pressure is 120mmHg Systolic and 80mmHg Diastolic. Blood pressure results between 120/80 - 140/90 can be monitored and rechecked at a further screening appoitnment or in your pharmacy or on a home monitor. Elevated blood pressure (over 140/90) should be followed-up with a recheck within 1 month at your GP. Your GP will then advise on further investigation and monitoring frequency. Addressing Hypertension involves eating a low-salt diet, getting regular exercise and building your resilience to stress. See the advice from the Irish Heart Foundation.




Urine Analysis (Urinalysis)


What is tested and why is it important? Urinalysis is a test of the cells and chemicals in your urine sample. The presence of white cells, glucose, blood or protein in your urine may indicate problems in your kidneys or bladder. What are the limitations? Blood in the urine is common during menstruation. What should I do about an abnormal result? It is important to note that, although most causes of these abnormalities are benign, any unexplained abnormality in a urinalysis test should prompt a visit to your GP for a full history and physical examination and a recheck.





cardiovascular health

Cardiovascular disease

 

As the number 1 cause of death in Ireland, heart attack and stroke are a major target for screening programmes. identifying modifiable risk factors that are outside the recommended ranges as early as possible allows you to change your habits and prevent the subtle long-term damage.

 

Limitations

Some cardiovascular risk factors (age, gender, family history) are not modifiable. Reducing some risks like cholesterol or blood pressure may require input from your GP and/or further detailed testing.

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Cholesterol & Triglycerides


What is tested and why is it important? Cholesterol is an essential part of your body. Results are divided into Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
High levels of Cholesterol have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides (Non-HDL Cholesterol). Low levels of HDL Cholesterol also carry an increased cardiovascular risk.
What are the limitations? A non-fasting Triglyceride test may be falsely elevated due to recent food or alcohol ingestion and would need to be retested as a fasting sample. The other Cholesterol components are routinely
tested non-fasting.
What should I do about abnormal results? Management of an elevated Cholesterol depends on your other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (smoking, excess weight, diabetes, family history). Dietary changes generally have limited effects on cholesterol levels. If your overall cardiovascular risk is high, your GP may advise a cholesterol-lowering medication if diet alone does not address your elevated levels.




Blood Pressure


A cuff is inflated around your arm to measure the pressure of blood within your artery. The larger value is called systolic and the smaller value is called diastolic. Consistently high blood pressure (Hypertension) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. What are the limitations? It is recommended to have blood pressure readings taken on more than one occasion to diagnose Hypertension. This can be done by your GP or by buying a home blood pressure monitor. An elevated blood pressure may also be due to a condition known as "white coat syndrome", where your blood pressure is elevated due to the stress of having it checked by a doctor or nurse. What should I do about abnormal results? The ideal blood pressure is 120mmHg Systolic and 80mmHg Diastolic. Blood pressure results between 120/80 - 140/90 can be monitored and rechecked at a further screening appoitnment or in your pharmacy or on a home monitor. Elevated blood pressure (over 140/90) should be followed-up with a recheck within 1 month at your GP. Your GP will then advise on further investigation and monitoring frequency. Addressing Hypertension involves eating a low-salt diet, getting regular exercise and building your resilience to stress. See the advice from the Irish Heart Foundation (www.irishheart.ie)




Diabetes


What is tested and why is it important? Haemoglobin A1c (HBA1c) is an indirect test of glucose levels in your blood over the past 2-3 months. A larger percentage of your blood haemoglobin is bound to glucose when glucose levels are high.
HBA1c levels above 6.5% indicate you may have Diabetes. HBA1c levels above 5.7% indicate you are at higher risk of developing Diabetes (Pre-Diabetes). What are the limitations? This test may be inaccurate in those of south-Asian origin or in those who have genetically abnormal haemoglobin (hamoglobinopathies/thalassaemia). What should I do about an abnormal result? Your GP will generally repeat the test to confirm the diagnosis of Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes. Management involves reducing your BMI to 25 (if it is higher), getting regular exercise and eating a diet low in processed sugars. If your levels remain high, your GP may prescribe medication. See Diabetes Ireland for more advice (www.diabetes.ie)




Smoking


The relationship between smoking and cardiovascular disease is well-known. It can be very hard to kick the habit but, fortunately, there are services available that help you with (free) advice and support. Visit www.quit.ie for advice on the most appropriate medical treatment (nicotine-replacement or medication) and access free social support and encouragement for your next quit attempt. Even with the best social and medical support, the average success rate is approximately 20% @ 12 months, so you may have to quit a number of times before staying off cigarettes for good. The benefits of quitting cigarettes are immediate and long-term. Your cardiovascular risk will be approximately back to average in 10-15 years.




Cardiovascular Risk


What is tested and why is it important? Your cardiovascular risk is a measure of how likely you are to have a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) within the next 10 years. The risk factors taken into account when calculating cardiovascular risk are: smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, age, gender, family history and others. Knowing you have a higher than average risk of cardiovascular disease allows you to address your own risk factors and measure the difference it makes to your health. What are the limitations? Cardiovascular risk inherently increases with age. Some risk factors (gender, family history and age) are non-modifiable.
Cardiovascular risk scores are not calculated for those under 26 due to insufficient data and accuracy.
Cardiovascular risk factors have more/less significant effects on different ethnic groups. The risk score is calculated using the formula from QRisk3, which is most applicable to persons from UK and Ireland. What is a normal result? Your cardiovascular risk score is converted to a "Heart Age" - your real age multiplied by the relative risk of cardiovascular risk you have compared to another person of the same age and gender, but without your risk factors. If your heart age is higher than your real age, you have increased risk. What should I do about abnormal results? Reducing your risk simply involves addressing your own risk factors. Stopping cigarette-smoking is the single most effective way of reducing your cardiovascular risk (www.quit.ie). This reduces risk by approximately 30%-50% for most people. See the advice on Blood Pressure and Cholesterol for more information about how to reduce these risk factors.




ECG (Electrocardiogram)


What is tested and why is it important? A 12-Lead ECG is a recording of the electrical activity of your heart, as picked up by electrodes placed at standard points on your chest. The recording shows the electrical rhythm of the heart, how the electricity is being conducted through the heart, and how the different parts of the heart are reacting to the electrical impulse. A 12-Lead ECG can pick up abnormal heart rhythms, such as Atrial Fibrillation (a major cause of stroke). It may also pick up evidence of structural problems in the heart, such as cardiomyopathy (a cause of sudden death). A 12-Lead ECG may also pick up evidence of a heart attack, either currently or a heart attack that happened in the past. What are the limitations? The ECG records only about 30 seconds of your heart’s activity. If a rhythm problem is intermittent, it may be missed. Not all heart problems result in changes that can be picked up on a 12-Lead ECG – some require other tests such as an echocardiogram or a coronary angiogram. What should I do about an abnormal result? Many ECG abnormalities are benign and do not cause any symptoms or and risk of long-term problems. If follow-up with further testing or a visit to a cardiologist is required, our doctor will explain the steps in your advice section.





metabolic health

Cholesterol & Triglycerides


What is tested and why is it important? Cholesterol is an essential part of your body. Results are divided into Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
High levels of Cholesterol have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides (Non-HDL Cholesterol). Low levels of HDL Cholesterol also carry an increased cardiovascular risk.
What are the limitations? A non-fasting Triglyceride test may be falsely elevated due to recent food or alcohol ingestion and would need to be retested as a fasting sample. The other Cholesterol components are routinely
tested non-fasting.
What should I do about abnormal results? Management of an elevated Cholesterol depends on your other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (smoking, excess weight, diabetes, family history). Dietary changes generally have limited effects on cholesterol levels. If your overall cardiovascular risk is high, your GP may advise a cholesterol-lowering medication if diet alone does not address your elevated levels.




Blood Pressure


A cuff is inflated around your arm to measure the pressure of blood within your artery. The larger value is called systolic and the smaller value is called diastolic. Consistently high blood pressure (Hypertension) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. What are the limitations? It is recommended to have blood pressure readings taken on more than one occasion to diagnose Hypertension. This can be done by your GP or by buying a home blood pressure monitor. An elevated blood pressure may also be due to a condition known as "white coat syndrome", where your blood pressure is elevated due to the stress of having it checked by a doctor or nurse. What should I do about abnormal results? The ideal blood pressure is 120mmHg Systolic and 80mmHg Diastolic. Blood pressure results between 120/80 - 140/90 can be monitored and rechecked at a further screening appoitnment or in your pharmacy or on a home monitor. Elevated blood pressure (over 140/90) should be followed-up with a recheck within 1 month at your GP. Your GP will then advise on further investigation and monitoring frequency. Addressing Hypertension involves eating a low-salt diet, getting regular exercise and building your resilience to stress. See the advice from the Irish Heart Foundation (www.irishheart.ie)




Diabetes


What is tested and why is it important? Haemoglobin A1c (HBA1c) is an indirect test of glucose levels in your blood over the past 2-3 months. A larger percentage of your blood haemoglobin is bound to glucose when glucose levels are high.
HBA1c levels above 6.5% indicate you may have Diabetes. HBA1c levels above 5.7% indicate you are at higher risk of developing Diabetes (Pre-Diabetes). What are the limitations? This test may be inaccurate in those of south-Asian origin or in those who have genetically abnormal haemoglobin (hamoglobinopathies/thalassaemia). What should I do about an abnormal result? Your GP will generally repeat the test to confirm the diagnosis of Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes. Management involves reducing your BMI to 25 (if it is higher), getting regular exercise and eating a diet low in processed sugars. If your levels remain high, your GP may prescribe medication. See Diabetes Ireland for more advice (www.diabetes.ie)




Smoking


The relationship between smoking and cardiovascular disease is well-known. It can be very hard to kick the habit but, fortunately, there are services available that help you with (free) advice and support. Visit www.quit.ie for advice on the most appropriate medical treatment (nicotine-replacement or medication) and access free social support and encouragement for your next quit attempt. Even with the best social and medical support, the average success rate is approximately 20% @ 12 months, so you may have to quit a number of times before staying off cigarettes for good. The benefits of quitting cigarettes are immediate and long-term. Your cardiovascular risk will be approximately back to average in 10-15 years.




Cardiovascular Risk


What is tested and why is it important? Your cardiovascular risk is a measure of how likely you are to have a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) within the next 10 years. The risk factors taken into account when calculating cardiovascular risk are: smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, age, gender, family history and others. Knowing you have a higher than average risk of cardiovascular disease allows you to address your own risk factors and measure the difference it makes to your health. What are the limitations? Cardiovascular risk inherently increases with age. Some risk factors (gender, family history and age) are non-modifiable.
Cardiovascular risk scores are not calculated for those under 26 due to insufficient data and accuracy.
Cardiovascular risk factors have more/less significant effects on different ethnic groups. The risk score is calculated using the formula from QRisk3, which is most applicable to persons from UK and Ireland. What is a normal result? Your cardiovascular risk score is converted to a "Heart Age" - your real age multiplied by the relative risk of cardiovascular risk you have compared to another person of the same age and gender, but without your risk factors. If your heart age is higher than your real age, you have increased risk. What should I do about abnormal results? Reducing your risk simply involves addressing your own risk factors. Stopping cigarette-smoking is the single most effective way of reducing your cardiovascular risk (www.quit.ie). This reduces risk by approximately 30%-50% for most people. See the advice on Blood Pressure and Cholesterol for more information about how to reduce these risk factors.




ECG (Electrocardiogram)


What is tested and why is it important? A 12-Lead ECG is a recording of the electrical activity of your heart, as picked up by electrodes placed at standard points on your chest. The recording shows the electrical rhythm of the heart, how the electricity is being conducted through the heart, and how the different parts of the heart are reacting to the electrical impulse. A 12-Lead ECG can pick up abnormal heart rhythms, such as Atrial Fibrillation (a major cause of stroke). It may also pick up evidence of structural problems in the heart, such as cardiomyopathy (a cause of sudden death). A 12-Lead ECG may also pick up evidence of a heart attack, either currently or a heart attack that happened in the past. What are the limitations? The ECG records only about 30 seconds of your heart’s activity. If a rhythm problem is intermittent, it may be missed. Not all heart problems result in changes that can be picked up on a 12-Lead ECG – some require other tests such as an echocardiogram or a coronary angiogram. What should I do about an abnormal result? Many ECG abnormalities are benign and do not cause any symptoms or and risk of long-term problems. If follow-up with further testing or a visit to a cardiologist is required, our doctor will explain the steps in your advice section.





Metabolic Health

Blood test results can tell you if you are at risk of diseases affecting  almost any physiologic process, including liver, kidney diabetes, anaemia and many more. It is very important to take your overall health into consideration when interpreting these results and to only make changes to any medical treatment after consulting your own GP first.

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HBA1c (Diabetes)


What is tested and why is it important? Haemoglobin A1c (HBA1c) is an indirect test of glucose levels in your blood over the past 2-3 months. A larger percentage of your blood haemoglobin is bound to glucose when glucose levels are high.
HBA1c levels above 6.5% (47.5mmol/mol) indicate you may have Diabetes. HBA1c levels above 5.7% (39mmol/mol) indicate you are at higher risk of developing Diabetes (Pre-Diabetes). What are the limitations? This test may be inaccurate in those of south-Asian origin or in those who have genetically abnormal haemoglobin (hamoglobinopathies/thalassaemia). What should I do about an abnormal result? Your GP will generally repeat the test to confirm the diagnosis of Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes. Management involves reducing your BMI to 25 (if it is higher), getting regular exercise and eating a diet low in processed sugars. If your levels remain high, your GP may prescribe medication. See Diabetes Ireland for more information (www.diabetes.ie)




Ferritin


What is tested and why is it important? Your ferritin level is an indicator of the amount of iron stored in your body. Low ferritin levels may be associated with iron-deficiency, either through insufficient dietary intake (eg some vegetarian diets) or excess loss, usually blood loss during menstruation or from a gastric ulcer. High levels of ferritin may be associated with a condition called Haemochromatosis, a hereditary disease resulting in iron overload and subsequent damage to organs. What are the limitations? Ferritin may vary in response to processes other than iron metabolism eg. Acute or chronic infection or inflammation may result in ferritin rises. What should I do about an abnormal result? There are other Iron status tests that can be run by your GP, if your ferritin level is abnormal. These will give a more accurate picture of your exact Iron status – deficiency, overload or normal. If your GP suspects Haemochromatosis, he/she will discuss referral for genetic testing.




Full Blood Count (FBC)


What is tested and why is it important? The Full Blood Count is a measure of the components of your blood. There are 3 important blood components: Haemoglobin – this is the protein found in Red Blood Cells that carries oxygen around your body. Low levels of haemoglobin are an indicator of insufficient iron or excess loss of iron through menstrual or gastric blood loss. There are other, less common, causes of low haemoglobin. High levels of haemoglobin may be found in some chronic diseases. White Blood Cells – these cells form an important part of your immune system. Low levels of white cells may increase your risk of infection. High levels of white cells may indicate active infection or inflammation. Platelets – these cells contribute to blood clotting. Low levels of platelets increase your risk of bleeding or bruising. High levels of platelets may occur during inflammation or infection. What are the limitations? The levels of the various components of your blood vary frequently in response to infection or inflammation and usually return to normal when that process is over. What should I do about an abnormal result? A repeat FBC is warranted for most abnormalities, usually in 2-3 months. If your level is very abnormal eg. very low White Cells, this repeat sample should be done urgently.




Liver Function Tests (LFTs)


What is tested and why is it important? Your liver has many important functions which can be affected by lifestyle factors (eg alcohol, obesity) and by disease in other body systems (eg digestive system, infection). The liver function tests evaluate the presence of liver enzymes, proteins and metabolic byproducts in your blood. Raised levels indicate that the liver is worked hard to process or eliminate toxins from your body. What are the limitations? The levels of the various liver function vary frequently in response to toxin ingestion (eg alcohol) infection or inflammation and usually return to normal when that process is over. What should I do about an abnormal result? A repeat liver function test is warranted for most abnormalities, usually in 2-3 months. In the meantime, you should evaluate your lifestyle to identify potential sources of toxins (especially alcohol, medications) and infections (eg recent travel).




Lipid Profile (Cholesterol & Triglyceride)


What is tested and why is it important? Cholesterol is an essential part of your body. Results are divided into Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
High levels of Cholesterol have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides (Non-HDL Cholesterol). Low levels of HDL Cholesterol also carry an increased cardiovascular risk.
What are the limitations? A non-fasting Triglyceride test may be falsely elevated due to recent food or alcohol ingestion and would need to be retested as a fasting sample. The other Cholesterol components are routinely
tested non-fasting.
What should I do about abnormal results? Management of an elevated Cholesterol depends on your other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (smoking, excess weight, diabetes, family history). Dietary changes generally have limited effects on cholesterol levels. If your overall cardiovascular risk is high, your GP may advise a cholesterol-lowering medication if diet alone does not address your elevated levels.




Renal (Kidney) Function


What is tested and why is it important? Blood concentration of Urea and Creatinine, normal by-products of metabolism. A raised level of urea and/or creatinine may indicate impaired kidney function. What are the limitations? Urea levels may also be raised when you are dehydrated. Creatinine levels are commonly raised after vigorous exercise taking protein supplements/creatine or eating a high protein diet with large amounts of red meat. What should I do about an abnormal result? Abnormalities of urea and creatinine may need retesting and investigation by your GP. Ensure you are adequately-hydrated and have avoided vigorous exercise before re-testing. Your GP will also enquire about medical problems that may impair kidney function and will do a physical examination.




Uric Acid


What is tested and why is it important? Uric acid is a normal by-product of your body metabolism, specifically through the breakdown of proteins. High levels of uric acid predispose to gout (a painful inflammation of joints, especially in the foot). What are the limitations? Not everyone with a high uric acid level will get gout. There are other factors which cause the uric acid level to be temporarily-raised – eating a diet rich in red meat and wine, for example. What should I do about an abnormal result? If your uric acid level is high and you have painful inflammation of your big toe or any other joint, you should attend your GP for further investigation and treatment. If your uric acid level is high but you have no symptoms of gout, you should have your level checked again by your GP in 2-3 months, avoiding excess intake of red meat or alcohol in the week before the test. If consistently-raised, your GP will discuss management options, taking into account your full medical history.





cancer risk assessment
 

Cancer Risk Assessment

Your cancer risk assessment takes into account your family history, physical examination, and lab investiagtions (where available). We do not diagnose cancer on a screening examination but rather point out where you may have a higher-than-average risk of certainn cancers and where you can make changes to reduce your risk. This may mean changing some lifestyle habits (smoking, alcohol, sun etc) or stepping up your participation in self-examination or national screening programmes (eg. bowel, breast, cervical). 

Even after the screening programme, your cancer risk and symptoms will change over time. If you notice any new or changing symptoms, you should contact your own GP in the first instance for advice and examination.

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Skin Cancer Risk


Your skin cancer risk takes into acount many factors, most of which are long-term, cumulative risks ie the more you are exposed to them, the higher your risk AND, once exposed, you keep that slightly increased risk for the rest of your life. Try to limit your exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation, especially UV-B (highest on a cloudless day, between 11am and 3pm). Remember, you can still be burned through light clouds, by exposure to UV-A. It is not as dangerous as UV-B but your exposure to UV-A will probably be more frequent (in Ireland) and will probably be without sunscreen. Higher risk of melanoma skin cancer is associated with * Fair skin that burns easily * Blue eyes * Light/Red hair * History of frequent or severe sunburns * Tanning bed use * Many moles (eg more than 20 on your body) See the Irish Cancer Society (www.cancer.ie) for more detailed advice or contact our clinical team on support@precisionhealth.ie




Cervical Cancer


An important cancer for women of any age, most cervical cancers are associated with infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is spread through sexual contact. Smoking reduces your body's ability to clear HPV infection, resulting in a longer exposure to the virus. Fortunately, early changes in the cells of your cervix can be detected by a test called a cervical smear (Pap smear). Although the test is uncomfortable, and confidence in the test has taken a knock in Ireland in recent years, early detection can avoid complex surgery or chemotherapy/radiotherapy for cancers detected at a later stage. Cervical smears are available free to women over 25 years in Ireland. Visit www.cervicalcheck.ie and use your PPSN to check your next smear date.




Bowel Cancer


A diet low in fibre and high in red meat has been associated with an increased risk of bowel (colon) cancer but bowel cancer can occur without any predisposing risks. Because bowel cancer is internal, you are not likely to notice any symptoms until the cancer is quite big or has spread. This is why it is important to participate in the national bowel cancer screening programme for over 60s: https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/bowel-screening/register-for-bowel-screening.html We offer the test to those under 60 who are at increased risk because of family history or symptoms. This test checks for the presence of blood in your stool sample (there should be none). Of course, there are many other causes of blood in the stool (haemorrhoids, colitis, infection) but bowel cancer is an important one to rule OUT. If your test showed blood in the stool, visit your GP for a physical examination and referral for colonoscopy if appropriate.




Breast Cancer


Breast cancer is a very common but treatable cancer, if detected at an early stage. The risk of breast cancer is higher for women over 50 years and is rare under 30 years. Family history increases the risk for some women, but most (95%) of breast cancer occurs in women without a family history of breast cancer. Alcohol increases your risk. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage involves being aware of your breasts. Monthly cyclical changes are normal but any new lump or skin changes should be checked out by your GP immediately. Being confident in breast self-examination is the ideal but this is not possible for all women. At a minimum, you should NOT ignore any new changes or lumps. The free Breast Check programme offers a mammogram to all women over 50 years. Visit www.breastcheck.ie and use your PPSN to check your eligibility.




Prostate Cancer


A very common cancer in men, prostate cancer is most common in men over 60 years. 1 in 8 men will have evidence of prostate cancer when they die, but the prostate cancer is unlikely to have caused their death becasue it is usually slow growing and slow-spreading. Prostate Cancer screening is a complex topic because "over-screening" for Prostate Cancer can result in "over-investigation" of men those would not have ever had any adverse outcomes but that are not subjected to the expense, worry and risk of side effects from the often invasive investiagtions for prostate cancer. Currently (2021), Prostate Cancer screening is recommended for men who have an increased risk (family history of prostate cancer under 60 years old) or symptoms of prostate enlargement (difficulty urinating or excessive night-time urination). Men over 60 with no risks should talk to a doctor first about their risk before having the test. An abnormally-high PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) result will be followed by a rectal examination at your GP, an MRI scan and a referral to a urology specialist for advice.





vision screening

Vision Screening

The Keystone Vision screening test provides a convenient and quick assessment of the main components of healthy sight. It is important to understand that the Keystone screen is done in an office environment. Abnormalities detected on the Keystone screen should be followed up with a visit to your optician for a formal assessment and advice. 

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Visual Acuity (Near and Far)


Your visual acuity is what most people associate with vision testing. If your acuity is poor, you may have blurred vision at distance (eg driving) or at near (eg. reading). If your vision in one eye is poor the other eye may compensate, resulting in normal vision for both eyes.




Colour Perception (Colour Blindness)


This is the classic colour-blindness test. Being colour-blind does not usually cause significant problems, unless your occupation or hobbies require full colour perception eg. pilot, train-driver. Colour-blindness is not currently correctable. This screening test uses only 3 "plates" for red-green and blue-violet perception. A full, formal, test of colour perception would use more.




Visual Acuity (Intermediate/VDU)


Visual acuity at intermediate distance (60-100cm) is also called the Visual Display Unit (VDU) test. Anyone who works with a computer screen (Display Screen Equipment) for more than 1 hour per day is recommended by the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) to have their vision screened and corrected, if unacceptable. Your employer will normally contribute to the cost of this assessment.




Phoria (Eye Co-ordination)


If your eyes do not move together to focus accurately on an object, you may experience eye strain when looking at distance or at near targets for prolonged periods of time.




Glare Recovery, Contrast Sensitivity


Contrast sensitivity measures your ability to distinguish objects which vary only in their black-white differences. This test is important for night-vision, where colour perception is not as important. Glare recovery measures how quickly your eyes recover from a bright light. This can be abnormal if you have a cataract or glaucoma, both conditions affecting the transmission of light through your eye.