What tests should you have?
The tests you need depend on your age, health, gender, and your risk factors. Risk factors might include family history, such as having a close relative with cancer, and lifestyle issues, such as smoking. Cholesterol screening, for example, is recommended for people who have a family history of early coronary artery disease.
If you are at risk for a disease, you and your doctor will decide whether you should be tested for it. Discuss the testing, the disease, the risks and benefits of the testing, and what action you are willing to take if you have the condition. For example, if your doctor believes you are at risk for osteoporosis, the things to think about before testing include your age, whether others in your family have had osteoporosis, whether you are a postmenopausal woman, and your willingness to take medicine or make lifestyle changes if you test positive for this condition.