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When a doctor believes a person may be suffering from a particular disease, he may screen her to find out. In many cases, however, disease screening is done in the absence of complaints and symptoms. This is commonly regarded as a positive way to maintain health. Examples of different types of disease screening include scoliosis, breast cancer, and HIV and AIDS.
In some places, disease screening begins at a young age. There are many schools that screen children for scoliosis. This is a disorder that causes the spine to curve abnormally. Checking to see whether children have this condition is often as simple as having a nurse run her fingers along their spines.
Breast cancer screening is something that women are highly encouraged to do. Women are encouraged to examine themselves at home regularly. They are also encouraged to have a professional examination annually if they do not detect any suspicious lumps in the interim. Professional disease screening of this sort is usually done in two ways. Either a doctor uses his hands to feel for abnormalities or he conducts a breast X-ray known as a mammogram.
Both men and women who are sexually active often get screened for common sexually transmitted diseases. The manner in which this is done depends on the infections being considered. For infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, a pap smear is often done. This usually involves gathering tissue and cells from inside the genitals using a cotton swab. Afterward, the swab is examined for the presence of these diseases.
Herpes, however, is a disease that is also commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse. A pap smear is not an effective disease screening method for this condition. Medical professionals tend to agree that the best way to detect herpes is to take a culture from a lesion believed to be caused by the virus. It is also possible to test the blood for antibodies caused by the virus.
There are global initiatives to encourage people to get screened for HIV and AIDS. Doing so is so important that there is an internationally recognized day of awareness. Many employers sponsor tests or allow their workers to take off to get this done. This type of disease screening varies from place to place. It could involve the extraction of blood or it could be as simple as removing cells and tissue from inside the mouth.