Health Screening: Finding Health Problems Early
Why is it important to find health problems early?
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. Treating the disease early may also make the disease easier to live with.
How do you find health problems early?
Your doctor may suggest:
What health problems should you be tested for?
You and your doctor can use recommendations made by expert panels of health professionals to help you decide what screening tests you need. These panels develop screening recommendations based on:
Sometimes different expert panels make different recommendations. In these situations, talk with your doctor to decide which guidelines best meet your health needs.
See which screening tests you may need:
How do you decide when to get a screening test?
When and how often you get screening tests may depend on your age, your gender, your health status, your risk factors, and the cost of testing. Your doctor may suggest screening tests based on expert guidelines. In some cases, testing is done as part of a routine checkup.
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.
Ask your doctor about the limits of the test and treatment. For example:
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?
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