Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Health Screening: Finding Health Problems Early

Health Screening: Finding Health Problems Early

Overview

Why is it important to find health problems early?

Screening tests help your doctor look for certain diseases before any symptoms appear. Often, the earlier a disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is that it can be cured or successfully managed. When you treat a disease early, you may be able to prevent or delay problems from the disease.

Regular screening tests and checkups can help you stay healthy. Talk with your doctor whenever you have concerns about your health.

How do you decide when to get a screening test?

When and how often you get screening tests may depend on your age, your sex, your health status, your risk factors, and the cost of testing. In some cases, testing is done as part of a routine checkup.

Your doctor may suggest screening tests based on expert guidelines. Sometimes different expert panels make different recommendations. In these situations, talk with your doctor to decide which guidelines best meet your health needs.

You also may need some screening tests earlier or more often if:

  • You have a higher risk for a certain disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, or colon cancer.
  • You have a long-term health problem, such as diabetes.

When you are thinking about getting a screening test, talk with your doctor. Find out about the disease, what the test is like, how the test may help you or hurt you, and how much the test costs. You may also want to ask what further testing and follow-up will be needed if a screening test result shows a possible problem.

Ask your doctor about the limits of the test and treatment. For example:

  • Ask your doctor how likely it is that the test would miss a disease (false negative), show something that looks like you have a disease when you don't (false positive), or find a disease that will never cause a problem.
  • Ask your doctor about the treatment for the disease that the test looks for. There may be no treatment that helps with symptoms or helps you live longer. In this case, you may decide that you don't want the screening test.

Also think about what you would do if a test shows that you have the disease. For example, if you are going to be tested for osteoporosis, are you willing to take medicine or make lifestyle changes if the test shows that you have it?

Screening, Birth to 23 Months

Screening, Birth to 23 Months

All states require newborn screening, although the tests required vary from state to state. These tests can help find serious problems that could affect your baby's long-term health. Your doctor will check your baby's vision, hearing, height, and weight, among other things.

Learn more

Screening, 2 to 12 Years

Screening, 2 to 12 Years

Many types of screening may take place at routine visits when your child is 2- to 12-years old. These tests include checks for developmental and behavioral problems. Your doctor may also do vision and hearing checks.

Learn more

Screening, 13 to 18 Years

Screening, 13 to 18 Years

Screening for your 13- to 18-year-old child may include checks for school and behavioral concerns, blood pressure, and hearing. Checks for cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and tuberculosis may also be done.

Learn more

Screening, Adults

Screening, Adults

Adults may have a number of screening tests, such as tests for heart attack and stroke risk and certain cancers. Your doctor can help you determine the tests you may need and how often to have them.

Learn more

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Home Blood Pressure Test Organizing Your Medical Records Vision Tests Understanding Lab Test Results

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details