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Clear the Way to Better Health: Your Medical Test Guide

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When You Should Get Tested More Often

If you have a family history of heart disease...

Go for regular cholesterol checks. (Your M.D. will determine the best schedule.) Also, if you're experiencing symptoms, ask if certain screening methods, such as an electrocardiogram or an exercise treadmill test, are right for you.

If you have a family history of breast, ovarian or colorectal cancer...

Find out how old each first-degree relative was when diagnosed. Some docs recommend beginning screening 10 years earlier than the age of the diagnosis of the youngest affected relative. Have multiple first-degree relatives who've had ovarian or breast cancer? Perhaps talk to a genetic counselor to assess your risk.

If you are overweight or obese...

In addition to regular blood-pressure checks, keep close tabs on your glucose levels. (Shedding 5 to 10 percent of your weight can neutralize your diabetes risk.) Thyroid problems can also cause weight gain, so ask your M.D. for a test.

Because there is no single set of universally recognized guidelines for medical screenings, FITNESS consulted numerous experts and national agencies to come up with recommendations. These include: Mary Barton, M.D., scientific director of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force; Robert Smith, Ph.D., director of cancer screening at the American Cancer Society; Emily Chew, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications at the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health; Christine Laine, M.D., senior deputy editor of Annals of Internal Medicine; Pamela Peeke, M.D., FITNESS advisory board member and author of Body for Life for Women; the American Heart Association; Gail Royal, M.D., clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Jeffrey Garber, M.D., president-elect of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; the CDC; the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; the FDA Office of Women's Health; the American Thyroid Association; Jeanine Downie, M.D., director of Image Dermatology P.C.; Archives of Internal Medicine; the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Originally published in FITNESS Magazine, June 2009.


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6/18/2012 03:28:14 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

A PAP smear does not reveal endometrial cancer!!!

2/27/2012 09:41:35 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

it would be helpful to see other views on how often 65 year olds need an eye exam if their are no obvious signs of trouble ... also heard the shingles vaccine is important for any older person?

10/6/2011 04:09:48 PM Report Abuse
limam11 wrote:

Wow! Seems like some people NEED TO LEARN HOW TO READ! These are not tests for those UNDER a certain age and there is NO cut-off point on ANY of the tests mentioned ... it is reminding YOUNGER women that they need to pay attention to their health!!! OMG!

9/12/2011 10:25:57 AM Report Abuse
amy2944 wrote:

This post was incredibly informative! I was curious to see that HIV testing did not make the cut. -Amy, Fuse Pilates

8/9/2011 09:52:29 AM Report Abuse

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