About the Tests
Every few years, the recommendations for routine screenings are revised based on the latest research. Here is the background on some of the most common tests
Comments: Blood pressure is tested by constricting a cuff above the elbow, then listening with a stethoscope to the pulse as the cuff is released and the blood is allowed to flow through the arteries.
Frequency: At least once every other year if you have normal blood pressure. If you have borderline high pressure, several tests over a couple of weeks or months are recommended.
Comments: A simple blood test measures levels of total, HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Frequency: Once every five years starting at age 20. If results are not within the normal range, more frequent tests will be recommended.
Comments: A stool sample is smeared on a test card. The test detects blood in the stool, which can indicate colon or rectal cancer.
Frequency: Every year starting at age 50
Comments: A flexible viewing scope is inserted in the colon, allowing the doctor to visually examine the colon for cancer and other abnormalities.
Frequency: Every three to five years starting at age 50.
Chest CAT scan
Comments: This imaging test screens for lung cancer.
Frequency: Smokers and former heavy smokers should have the test every year starting at age 50.
Test: Fasting glucose test
Comments: A simple blood test screens for diabetes.
Frequency: Every three years starting at age 45.
March 21, 2017
Carolyn BrownCarolyn Brown RN MN CCRN CNS