Screening Vs. Diagnosis: 5 Things You Need to Know Today! webnuraadmin | April 19, 2021 The advent of medical technology has given us several medical wonders; and has contributed immensely to the advancement of medicine. It has made several untreatable diseases and conditions treatable in the past few decades. However, with medical inflation at its peak and the increasing medical burden of the country, the cost of health care is skyrocketing by the minute. Even a simple procedure requiring hospitalisation can drill a hole in your pocket, and the more complicated ones can drain you out of both your savings and peace of mind. Today, investing in your health and taking preventive measures to steer clear of diseases has become more necessary than ever before. Hence, we can no longer delay and deny the importance of health screening today, and the sooner we adopt it as a part of our daily routine, the better. But first, we need to understand what exactly a health screening helps you achieve. The word health screening is often interchangeably used for a health check-up or a diagnostic test. However, comparing the two is almost like comparing apples to oranges. So, we decided to make it easier for you to understand the difference, by highlighting the key aspects to differentiate the two. Screening vs. Diagnosis: The Purpose The primary purpose of a screening test is to detect underlying diseases and conditions early, to help you be aware of your health risks and take timely action to stop them from posing life-threatening consequences. On the other hand, the purpose of a diagnostic test is to confirm the presence or absence of a disease or condition in suspected individuals, as a basis for treatment decisions. A diagnostic test comes as the next step to a screening test to confirm the prognosis. Screening vs. Diagnosis: The Target Group A Screening Test is for healthy, asymptomatic people who show no signs or symptoms of an underlying disease or condition. It is a preventive measure to ascertain health risks in individuals who look or feel well. On the contrary, a diagnostic test is for people whose screening showed a possible abnormality. It is for individuals who already show signs and symptoms of a health issue and want to confirm the presence or absence of a suspected disease or condition. Screening vs. Diagnosis: The Right Time The best time to undergo a screening test is when you are healthy. However, several other factors like age, heredity, gender, etc. play a role in deciding when you should go for a screening test and how often you need one. Checking with your family physician is the best way to understand it better. When it comes to a diagnostic test, one must carry it out soon after the prognosis, to be sure of one’s health status. Because the sooner the diagnosis is made, the better chances are available for a credible treatment option to be ascertained. Screening vs. Diagnosis: The Next Steps Once the result of the screening test is out, you can expect to get a holistic view of your health, and understand whether you are susceptible to a disease or condition. Accordingly, additional tests can be taken, confirming the presence or absence of the disease suspected. It also prepares you to combat ailments better by allowing you to get the right treatment at the right time. On the other hand, a diagnostic test helps confirm your health status. It not only helps identify the presence of the disease but works as a deciding step to understand the stage and progression of it. Thus, allowing you to know the treatment options available for you to take at that point in time. Screening vs. Diagnosis: The Cost Since a screening test is a preventive measure that one takes to know the unknown, it is cost-effective and probably the best investment that one can make to live a long and healthy life. A diagnostic test, on the other hand, is a step to confirm the disease. Hence, the costs associated with it are much higher, as it is followed by multiple clinical inspections, to establish a diagnosis and treatment options. We hope to have put all your questions regarding screening vs. diagnosis to rest. Now you can take an informed decision and make health screening a part of your routine. It is the best way to detect diseases early and stay a step ahead of them at all times. Remember, early detection saves lives. Schedule your health screening today.