health screening for all ages

Health Screenings Across Life Stages: What You Need To Know

So many health screening packages but don’t know which to choose? We break down the 5W’s and 1H of health screening across life stages, along with some tips and tricks to make the most of your medical checkup.

by Jo-Kym New

Health Screenings in Malaysia 

Health screening provides many benefits, including keeping our overall health and quality of life in check. However, many Malaysians don’t go for regular screenings until something doesn’t feel right. We can’t lie. Going for medical checkups always makes the butterflies in our stomach go rampage. From securing a time slot in your busy schedule to facing the long queue and crowd, and to anxiously waiting for your results, it can be pretty exhausting. Others seem to think it unnecessary because of their young age. 

Do you know what are the different types of health screenings you should take? Are you wishing you knew more about health screening before you make an informed decision? In this article, we cover the 5W’s 1H (who, what, when, where, how, and why) of health screenings across life stages.

5W’s 1H of Health Screening

What is health screening?

Health screenings or checkups are medical tests conducted by a doctor or a medical professional to examine an individual’s health condition. It helps to detect any signs of diseases early, making it easier and more effective to seek treatment when it is needed. 

Generally, any health screening may involve an analysis of your family history and basic details such as your height, weight and Body Mass Index (BMI). Your doctor will also discuss your lifestyle choices, including dietary and exercise routines. 

Why is health screening important?

Regular medical checkups or follow-up visits are critical for anyone looking to maintain or improve their lifestyles and quality of life. Some of the advantages of health screening are as follows: 

  • Detects early signs of a health condition before you experience any physical symptoms 
  • Allows for effective treatment at an earlier stage
  • Informs if we need to make any lifestyle changes to lower your health risk and prevent complications
  • Increases lifespan and improve life expectancy
  • Helps you save more on cost and time when you invest in preventive measures
  • Offers you peace of mind as you continue regular health monitoring

It is essential to go for health screening on a regular basis, even if we are fit and in the pink of health. Delaying your medical checkups or follow-up visits means delaying treatment, making us vulnerable to unknown or undetected signs.

Who requires health screening?

For a start, basic wellness screenings are important across life stages. It may include options like blood tests, urine tests, blood pressure measurements, BMI, physical exams, and more.

Other types of screening of services are based on gender, age, and health conditions:

Age & Gender

For women: 

  • Below 40 years old: Breast examination, pelvic examination, abdomen ultrasound, and pap smear
  • 40-60 years old: Mammogram, ovarian screening, fecal occult blood test, abdomen ultrasound, and bone density test
  • Above 60 years old: Bone density test, herpes booster, pneumonia vaccine, Rheumatoid Factor

For men: 

  • Below 40 years old: Testicular exam, abdomen ultrasound
  • 40-60 years old: Testicular exam, abdomen ultrasound, prostate screenings, bone density test
  • Above 60 years old: Prostate screenings, bone density test, herpes booster, pneumonia vaccine, Rheumatoid Factor

For women and men across all ages: 

  • Urine FEME
  • Chest X-ray
  • Cholesterol check
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)

Health conditions

  • Heart conditions: Blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol levels, AAA screening
  • Lung lancer: CT lung cancer screening
  • Brain abnormalities: MRA or MRI scan of the brain
  • Colon abnormalities: Colonoscopy
  • For diabetes: Fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) or the haemoglobin A1C test 
  • Others: Stress test, Hepatitis B Screening, thyroid screening, autoimmune screening

Keep in mind that the information above is not a complete list of possible health screenings. Other external factors should be taken into consideration like your family history and current health status. For more information about how you might choose the appropriate test for yourself, consult a doctor at your nearest hospital or medical centre.

When should I get screened?

The early bird catches the worm. The basic health tests, immunisation and other preventive screenings should be done once a year or sooner. By contrast, other types of health screening that require follow-up visits from time to time will depend on the type of screening and your risk level. 

Some recommendations for routine checkups are as follows:

  • Every two to three years: Blood pressure screening, pap smear
  • Every three to five years: Cholesterol levels, cervical screening, HPV test

Typically, the older you are, the more often you should go for health screening, as our risk of developing health problems tend to increase with age. Additionally, if you have a chronic condition, for instance diabetes or cardiovascular disease, you should consult your doctor as soon and as often as you can, no matter your age.  

How do I prepare for my appointment?

Going for your health screening can be daunting, especially if it is your first time. If you have booked an appointment, find out what you need to prepare  in advance. Here are 10 dos and don’ts to prepare you for your next appointment. 

Don’ts before your medical checkup

  1. Don’t drink or eat anything other than water for at least eight to ten hours
  2. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours 
  3. Don’t exercise or do any strenuous physical activity for at least 15-30 minutes
  4. Don’t take any health supplements and multivitamins that might affect your samples
  5. Don’t make an appointment 5 days before or after the menstrual period

Important to note: The duration mentioned in the pointers above will vary according to the types of tests you take, so be sure to confirm with the medical professional.

Dos before your medical checkup

  1. Do get enough rest or sleep to make sure your body is relaxed
  2. Do dress appropriately for easy access to areas of your body that needs testing
  3. Do bring any medical test results or reports to aid the diagnosis
  4. Do inform the medical professional if you are prescribed with any medications
  5. Do check the duration of your checkup so you don’t have to rush

Bonus tip:

Do list down some questions you might have once you receive a diagnosis, especially regarding a health condition. Here are some additional questions you can include in your notes:

  1. Will I need to take additional tests?
  2. What are my treatment options?
  3. What happens if I choose not to undergo treatment?
  4. How will this affect my future prognosis?
  5. Will I need care support at home?

Where do I get screened in Malaysia?

Many hospitals and medical clinics, public and private alike, provide health screenings in Malaysia. To name a few according to the different regions such as Klang Valley, Johor, Penang and Perak:

Sunway Medical Centre
General line: +603-7491 1198 or +603-7491 1302
Address: No. 5 Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Selangor, Malaysia
Operating hours: 
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 1:00pm

Subang Jaya Medical Centre
24-hour careline: +603 56391212
Health screening centre tel: +603 5639 1389
Address: Jalan SS 12/1A, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Health screening centre operating hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 12:30 pm

KPJ Selangor Specialist Hospital
Tel: 03 – 7718 1000 ext 2012
Address: Jalan Singa 20/1, Seksyen 20, 40300 Shah Alam, Selangor
Other available regions: Johor, Pahang, Penang, Kelantan, Perak, Sabah and Sarawak. 

Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-3258 5500
Address: 8, Jalan Bukit Pantai, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 
Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Other available regions: Selangor, Kedah, Penang and Johor. 

You can also take a look at MyGovernment’s list of clinics or hospitals for health examination here. For elderly health services, our government health clinics or Klinik Kesihatan cover a range of services as below:

Elderly health care services (Health screening & medical checkups) provided by MOH

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  1. Health screenings for women ages 18 to 39. (2021). MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 8, 2021, from 
  2. IMU Healthcare. (2021). Preparations for Health Screening. Retrieved October 8, 2021, from 
  3. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2021). Get Screened. Retrieved October 8, 2021, from 
  4. Raman, S. (2021, April 29). Health Screenings For Men And Women: Are You On Track?. Vera WHole Health. Retrieved October 8, 2021, from 
  5. The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation And Management Planning Unit. (2021). List of Clinic / Hospital for Health Examination. Retrieved October 8, 2021, from 
  6. Whellan, C. (2020, January 3). How Often Should You See Your Doctor for a Checkup?. Retrieved October 8, 2021, from
About the Writer
Jo-Kym New
Jo-Kym is an inbound marketer who is deeply passionate about mental health and family relationships. Her creative outlets are journalling, mobile photography, food and fashion.
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