Medical Tests & Procedures

Medical Tests & Procedures Articles

Does prostate cancer screening matter?

Updated guidelines for PSA testing suggest it offers only a small potential benefit for reducing the chance of dying of prostate cancer for men ages 55 to 69, and is not recommended for men age 70 and older. The guidelines may help protect men from unnecessary biopsies, radiation treatment, and even surgery. While the decision to have regular screening is never simple, it is a personal choice that depends on many factors, like a man’s age, level of risk, and family history. More »

Should you try a home genetic test kit?

Direct-to-consumer test kits can help detect a person’s genetic predisposition or odds of developing certain medical diseases or conditions. They are simple to use and can be done in the privacy of home. The tests analyze markers in DNA to look for mutations or markers associated with common diseases, such as late-onset Alzheimer’s disease or particular cancers. Results can be used as a way to explore things people should already be doing to improve health and reduce the risk of disease, such as losing weight, exercising, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. (Locked) More »

When the heart pumps normally but struggles

Some people with heart failure have a “preserved ejection fraction.” The heart contracts normally but the lower chambers are stiff and thickened. Because they don’t relax and refill normally, they can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. (Locked) More »

Clot prevention with a mechanical heart valve

For people with mechanical heart valves who must take clot-preventing drugs, warfarin is currently the only option. Newer anti-clotting drugs known as NOACs have not been proven safe for people with mechanical valves. (Locked) More »

Is advanced lipoprotein testing useful?

Advanced lipoprotein testing measures the size, distribution, and number of the different types of tiny, protein-covered particles that carry cholesterol through the body. But there is no solid evidence that these tests can improve a person’s heart health. (Locked) More »

Putting the brakes on a racing heart

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a rapid heart rhythm caused by an electrical glitch in the upper part of the heart. During an episode, the heart may beat 250 times or more per minute. With a doctor’s approval, people with long-lasting SVT episodes can try coughing, gagging, or other special maneuvers that sometimes help slow down the heart. Some people with frequent, bothersome episodes take medication or opt for catheter ablation. This procedure detects and destroys the area of tissue causing the problem, using instruments passed through a leg vein up to the heart. (Locked) More »

When does long-term acid reflux become a serious issue?

Long-term acid reflux can damage the esophagus and may lead to a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer and affects about 3% to 10% of older men. If symptoms appear, such as food sticking in the throat, weight loss, or pain from swallowing, an upper endoscopy may be recommended to help diagnose Barrett’s. More »