Interactive Tool: Which Health Screenings Do You Need?

What does this tool help you learn?

This tool is for adults age 21 and older who are not pregnant. It asks you questions about your health and your health history. Then it creates a list of screening tests you may need. You can print the list and take it with you when you visit your doctor.

The tool uses the current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). USPSTF recommendations are sometimes different from those of other professional organizations, such as the American Cancer Society or the American College of Physicians. Always talk with your doctor to decide which screening tests are best for you and how often you may need them.

What do the results tell you?

You will receive a list of the screening tests recommended by the USPSTF as well as other screenings to consider.

Screening for a disease means having a test to find out if you have a disease when symptoms first appear or even before they appear. Screening is important, because the sooner your doctor diagnoses a disease, the more likely it can be cured or managed. Managing a disease, especially when you first get it, may reduce its impact on your life or prevent or delay serious problems.

What's next?

Print a copy of the recommended screening tests. Take the list with you when you visit your doctor. Talk to your doctor about which screenings you may need. Your doctor may change the list based on your special needs. He or she will explain what is involved in each screening test and answer any questions you may have.

You may not have to go to your doctor's office for some screening tests. You may be able to do some tests at a health fair, your local pharmacy, or even at home.

For more information, see the topics Health Screening: Finding Health Problems Early and Immunizations.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2010). Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, 2010-2011: Recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (AHRQ Publication No. 10-05145). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Also available online: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/pocketgd.htm.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2012). Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, 2012: Recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (AHRQ Publication No. 12-05154). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Also available online: http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/guidelines-recommendations/guide.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Last Revised May 20, 2013

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