Medical Tests & Procedures

Medical Tests & Procedures Articles

A check on blood pressure

A man’s blood pressure is one of the easiest and simplest measurements and can tell much about his current and possible future health. New guidelines have suggested a lower threshold for normal blood pressure in all adults. Getting blood pressure checked by one’s doctor and monitoring it on a regular basis at home can help people note any significant changes and whether they need to alter lifestyle behaviors or take medication. (Locked) More »

Blood test may find early signs of Alzheimer's

A new study found that a simple blood test can detect beta-amyloid protein buildup—one of the possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease—years before symptoms appear. The test is expected to be available to the public in a few years. More »

Wait-and-see approaches to prostate cancer

Two of the more popular options now for managing low-risk prostate cancer are active surveillance and watchful waiting, during which therapy is not done right away. Monitoring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels for changes and having routine digital rectal exams are the foundation for active surveillance. Watchful waiting is often for men ages 70 and older and doesn’t require any PSA testing or rectal exams, but instead postpones treatment unless significant symptoms develop. (Locked) More »

When do I need an imaging test for my back pain?

Unless people have other symptoms in addition to low back pain, like a fever or leg weakness, an immediate x-ray, CT scan, or MRI rarely improves the outcome. A commonsense approach often works best, such as rest, hot and cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain relivers. (Locked) More »

Choosing an appropriate heart test

People with stable angina (chest pain that occurs during certain activities and goes away with rest) may be evaluated with a number of different tests. The choice depends the doctor’s level of suspicion that the person has coronary artery disease. (Locked) More »

Should I get my vitamin D levels checked?

Adequate levels of vitamin D can help maintain strong bones, but unless people have a gastrointestinal disease or thin bones, are malnourished, or take certain drugs that interfere with vitamin D activity, they do not need regular blood tests to check their levels. More »