Friday, June 18 2021


Happy New Year: Happy, healthy new you!

Update: January, 06/2020 - 08:03
Nurse Nguyễn Thiên Bảo. — Photo courtesy of Family Medical Practice

By Nguyễn Thiên Bảo*

Whether you celebrate the New Year on the 1st January or later for the Lunar New Year they both share the same purpose, to reflect on the past year and consider self development and positive change for the incoming year. Health is often an important part of the New Year, with many of us wishing for a happy and healthy New Year for ourselves, friends and family. There are positive steps that you can take to look after your health this year.

What is preventative health?

The World Health Organisation specifies that preventative health focuses both on disease prevention and health promotion. Disease prevention is avoiding the manifestation of the disease as well as educating the population about health risks and offering consultation for clinical preventative services. Health promotion is a second component which aims to empower people to increase control over their health; focusing more on the behavioural risk factors such as smoking, diet, substance abuse and safe sex - to name just a few. An environment that supports positive change is required for people to sustain positive health changes and here at Family Medical Practice we hope to support you in having a healthy 2020.

How can you get started?

Routine checks and screening are recommended for many areas of your health, some annually and others regularly with no specified time interval. Health screening is identifying unrecognised diseases in an apparently healthy individual who is asymptomatic by means of tests, exams and procedures. Early identification of disease often has better outcomes and is often easier to treat.

General medical health check

This is a thorough consultation with one of our doctors where you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. You will be offered tests, exams and procedures appropriate for your age and gender.

  • Full blood profiles
  • Radiology procedures i.e. mammography, ultrasound, bone density scanning, chest X-ray
  • Gynecological review and smear test
  • Physical exam and if relevant, further tests


The World Health Organisation recommends all women aged over 50-69 have a mammogram every two years. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers with 70 per cent of women not having predisposing risk factors. Signs can be pain around the breast, a lump/mass in the breast, skin irritation/redness, swelling of the breast tissue and/or nipple discharge and change in nipple shape. This list is not exhaustive, please consult a doctor if you have concerns and require your two year mammogram.

Smear test

Cervical cancer is a largely preventative cancer with high incidence rates in South East Asia. Cervical cancer is a distinctive change in the epithelial cells in the cervix from persistent or long term Human papillomarvirus (HPV) - a virus spread through sexual activity and often asymptomatic in both men and women. Family Medical Practice are using a highly effective ‘Thin Prep’ smear test which is 56 per cent more effective at identifying cervical cancer compared to the previous pap smear. It is a very quick procedure that can check for both cervical cancer, HPV and some sexually transmitted infections. It is recommended annually.

Sexually transmitted infection check up

Many people with sexually transmitted infections have no symptoms, which poses the greatest risk due to the length of time some people live with the condition. Sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility; pelvic inflammatory disease; pregnancy complications; ophthalmology and cardiovascular complications as well as HPV.

The test is very straightforward with one blood test, one urine sample and a smear test for women.

Eye health

Everyone will experience at least one eye condition in their lifetime. 2.2 billion people have vision impairment or blindness of which 1 billion could have been prevented. Routine assessment is recommended by the World Health Organisation.


Oral health has a big impact on self esteem and quality of life. It can also have a direct impact on other areas of your health such as your cardiovascular health. Have an annual dental check to ensure that dental cavities, general oral health and mouth related cancers are screened for. Family Medical Practice

*Nguyễn Thiên Bảo is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s in Public Health. He has over twenty years working within an ICU specialist capacity and participates in medical evacuations using both ground and air ambulance.

Family Medical Practice was the first foreign-owned primary healthcare provider in Việt Nam, and has consistently remained at the forefront of international-standard medicine since 1995. It offers extensive healthcare and emergency medical services nationwide to Vietnamese, expatriate and corporate customers.

For more advice on any medical topics, visit Family Medical Practice Hanoi at: 298 I Kim Mã, Ba Đình. Tel: (024) 3843 0748.  E:

FMP’s downtown HồChí Minh location is:Diamond Plaza, 34 Lê Duẩn, District 1; 95 Thảo Điền, District 2. Tel: (028) 38227848. E:

FMP Đà Nẵng is located at 96-98 Nguyễn Văn Linh, Hải Châu District, Đà Nẵng. Tel: (0236) 3582 699. E:


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