Medical News Today Blog

What is a Screening Test – Meaning, Tests, And More

Image default
Health Care Technology

Screening Tests – Meaning – Common Diseases

A biometric screening test is used to discover potential health issues or illnesses in symptom-free persons. Screening tests are not diagnostic, but they are used to select a subset of the population who should undergo further testing to establish whether or not they have a disease. Early detection, lifestyle adjustments, and surveillance aim to lower the risk of illness or find it early enough to treat it successfully.

Screening tests are generally used in medicine to assess the possibility that associates of a defined population have a particular disease. This article summarizes such tests, including the definitions of critical technical and population characteristics necessary to assess the benefits and limits of such tests.

Several examples are used to explain calculations, including the characteristics of low quantity computed tomography as a lung cancer screen, choice of an optimal PSA cutoff and collection of the population to undergo mammography. Phone operating characteristic curves are explained as is the need to select the population group to be tested carefully. The importance of carefully considering the consequences of both false positives and negatives is highlighted.

Some of the Most Popular Screening Tests

Depending on your age, overall health, and medical history, ask your healthcare professional about any screening tests’ proper time and frequency. Some examples of frequent screening tests are as follows:

A primary objective of most screening tests is to reduce morbidity or mortality in the population group being screened for the disease by early detection, when treatment may be more successful. An alternative objective might be to cut morbidity or mortality in persons other than the screened population who an infectious and preventable disease might impact.

Measurements Of Cholesterol by Screening Test

Cholesterol is a waxy molecule present throughout the human body. Cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D synthesis are all aided by it. Cholesterol in the blood originates from two places: what you consume and what your liver produces. On the other hand, the liver generates all of the cholesterol that the body requires.

Lipoproteins are spherical particles that carry cholesterol and other lipids through circulation. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), often known as “bad” cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), sometimes known as “good” cholesterol, are the two most well-known lipoproteins.

A blood test is used to test cholesterol levels. People with high cholesterol levels in their blood have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than normal cholesterol levels. According to studies, people with high cholesterol can minimize their risk of heart disease by reducing their cholesterol. However, it’s crucial to remember that persons with normal cholesterol levels can nevertheless develop heart disease.

Occult Blood Screening Test In The Faeces

Microscopic investigation or chemical testing for haemoglobin (blood) in the faeces can reveal faecal occult blood. People who pass blood in their stools may have a malignant growth in their intestines, a sign of colon cancer. The test involves the collection of three stool samples, which are then analyzed for blood under a microscope. When blood finds in a stool sample, it might be due to various noncancerous causes, including specific drugs or foods, gastrointestinal bleeding, or haemorrhoids. Many groups, including the American Cancer Society, advocate testing at 50.

Pap Smear by Screening Test

Pap smears samples of cells obtains from a woman’s cervix to check for cellular abnormalities that might indicate cervical cancer. In sexually lively women under the age of 65, the Pap smear is an important screening test for cancer detection early when there are typically no symptoms. It’s crucial to remember that just because a Pap smear is “abnormal” doesn’t guarantee a person has cervical cancer. During the Pap smear, several organizations additionally propose HPV (human papillomavirus) screening in specific groups.

Antigen-Specific to the Prostate of Screening Test

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in the blood using this blood test. Antigens are any compounds that cause the immune system to respond. The presence of prostate cancer might raise prostate-specific antigen levels. However, it’s crucial to remember other benign prostate diseases, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

A noncancerous thickening of the prostate can cause PSA to rise. The PSA test advises for all men, and the function of PSA testing is a point of contention. Specific organizations no longer recommend PSA screening, including the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Before testing, consider the benefits and drawbacks of PSA screening with your healthcare professional. Excessive tests and procedures, unnecessary fees, and dramatically increased worry are just a few drawbacks.


After 50, several organizations, including the USPSTF. Suggest mammography screening for breast cancer every one to two years. This test will perform in tandem with a clinical breast examination.


Many organizations, including the USPSTF, suggest colon cancer and polyp screening starting at age 50 or earlier if you have a family history or other risk factors.

Diabetes Or Pre-Diabetes Is A Condition In Which A Person Has Screening Tests

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) advises that all individuals. Regardless of weight evaluate for diabetes or pre-diabetes starting at age 45. Individuals who are plump or obese and have one or more additional diabetes risk factors should also assess if they show no symptoms of diabetes.

This Finding Highpoints The Importance of Identifying the Target Population that can benefit Greatest from the Screening Test Procedure.

Overdiagnosis is an extra factor to consider in evaluating the merits of LDCT cancer screening. Although screening has high sensitivity and potential to detect aggressive tumours, the screening will also detect indolent tumours that otherwise might not cause immediate clinical symptoms.

Patz et al. used data since the NLST to evaluate that more than 18% of all lung cancers detected by LDCT seemed to be more indolent. The potential of overdiagnosis should be precise when recitation the risks of LDCT for lung cancer.

Depending upon what in rapports of follow-up in a positive screening test result. The impact of false positives could be substantial. Wiener et al. determined population-based estimations of risks of complications following transthoracic needle biopsy of a pulmonary nodule. This group collected data on the section of biopsies complicated by haemorrhage.

Because not all healthcare providers agree on which to do screening tests and for which age groups, consult your healthcare provider about all other types of screening tests based on your medical situation.


A Numerical Example of Screening Tests

These screening test characteristics are resolute by testing a particular population and recording the number of subjects in the various categories shown in Table 1. To illustrate, Table 4 provides hypothetical data from a screening test evaluation of a population of 10 000 topics, assumed to have a disease prevalence of 0.5, with a calculated sensitivity of 0.9 95% confidence interval including continuity correction.

The possible results shown in Table 1 are quantified by two chances, termed the test sensitivity and specificity. These are two critical characteristics of a screening test.

Sensitivity of Screening Test

The test’s ability to designate a subject with the disease as positive correctly; the conditional probability denoted by the symbol S that a topic has the disease. D+, tests positive, T+. A susceptible test means few false-negative results few actual cases miss. Ceteris paribus, tests with high sympathy have potential value for screening because they rarely miss subjects with the disease.

Specificity  of Screening Test

The test’s ability to designate a subject without the disease as unfavourable correctly; it is the conditional probability (Pr{T−|D−}), denoted by the symbol Sp that a subject who does not have the disease, D−, tests negative, T−. A particular test means that there are few false-positive outcomes. So, high specificity tests perform well for diagnosis because of low false-positive mistakes. Exams with low specificity have the difficulty that many subjects without the disease will screen. Positive and potentially receive unnecessary follow-up diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

Publications about screening tests typically account for both the sympathy and specificity of the test. It is desirable to have a susceptible and particular difficulty.


There now appear to be four main screening aims. However, seven terms use to describe them: case-finding, mass screening, multiphasic screening. Opportunistic screening, periodical health examination, prescriptive screening, and targeted screening.

The concept of screening can be many times misleading to many people. This may be partly due to how screening describes and explain in textbooks and journal articles.

To review prominent public health and epidemiology textbooks, dictionaries, and relevant journal. Publications for definitions and examples of screening. To identify common usages and concepts, as well as sources of potential confusion.

Also Read: What is ChickenPox – Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Risk, And More

Users also Read