8 unnecessary medical tests and procedures you maintain getting | Fox News

8 unnecessary medical tests and procedures you keep getting | Fox News

8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News

8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News

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When it comes to your health, your posture may be that “more” is bettermore exams, more doctor visits, more vigilance. But in certain cases, less is the way to run. Not merely can excessive or unwarranted testing lead to a chain reaction of follow-up tests, unnecessary drugs, or avoidable surgeries, it can also cause anxiety and be harmful to your overall health since all tests and procedures have hazards, says Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA.

That’s not to say you should be in the dark about your health statusquite the opposite, in fact. This is about being informed and stimulating the right choices. It’s important to have the appropriate screenings at the appropriate times, just as it’s important to avoid the ones that you can. Here are eight that you might want to reconsider.

Pap smear

For the longest time the recommendation was that females get an annual Pap test, so you probably still schedule a yearly well-woman visit like clockwork. Definitely keep the appointment to discuss any concerns and problems, and determine whether you should have a pelvic exam, but skip the Pap. “Cervical cancer doesn’t just develop overnight, ” says Angela Jones, MD, an ob-gyn in Freehold, NJ. In general, it takes 10 to 20 years to do so, so you don’t need a Pap test every year. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the US Preventive Service Task force recommends women ages 30 to 65 get Pap screening every 3 years. Those who get the Pap and HPV combination testing can be screened every 5 years. If you are over 65 and have had three consecutive normal Pap outcomes within the past 10 years( or two normal co-tests ), with the most recent being within the past 5 years, or if you’ve had a total hysterectomy, you no longer need Pap testing at all.

MORE: 5 Reasons It Hurts Down There

Imaging test for back ache

When you have back pain that’s bad enough to see a doctor, you likely go right along with her recommendation for an MRI or X-ray to try to determine the cause. However, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians( AAFP ), this is another procedure you can probably take a pass on. First of all, most back ache gets better in about a month. Second, examines have shown that imaging scans of the back often reveal anatomic abnormalities in people with no back pain. So , not only could imaging point out something that’s not the cause of their own problems( or any problem, for that are important ), the committee is also could lead to treatments that aren’t very helpful. One review of six clinical trials out of the Oregon Health and Science University found that people who had an MRI for back ache didn’t get better any faster than those who didn’t have a scan, and they experienced the same quantity of pain, depression or anxiety.

Another reason to skip the imaging: X-rays and CT scans expose you to radiation, which increases the risk of developing cancer. Granted, low doses of radioactivity likely create cancer hazards by a very small amount; however, the effects of radiation are cumulative, so the more CT scans and X-rays( and other exposures to radiation ), the greater your risk.

Butand this is importantif your back pain is accompanied by unexplained weight loss, a fever over 102 degF, weakness or numbness in your legs, loss of control of your bladder or bowels, pain for longer than 6 weeks, or you have a history of cancer, your doctor should recommend that you get an imaging exam right away.

Teeth polishing

Itching to get out of the dentist’s chair ASAP? You’re in luck. When the hygienist whips out that small motorized rubber cup to polish your teeth at the end of your dental exam, you can deterioration. This procedure may construct your teeth feel smooth for a short time, but it’s altogether optional. “The main purpose of teeth polishing is to remove stains, so it’s more for a cosmetic consequence rather than a health benefit, ” tells Julie Frantsve-Hawley, RDH, PhD, editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Evidence-based Practice for the Dental Hygienist . And if you’re a heavy smoker or drink liquors that cause staining, greater pressure may be required during polishing, which could possibly cause more harm to the enamel, since polishing involves use an abrasive. Your best bet to avoid stains: Brush and floss or use interdental brushes to clean between your teeth daily.

Dental visits

Speaking of teeth, you know that “see your dentist every 6 months” advice we always hear? That may not be the case for you. You might not need to go as often, or you may need to go more frequently. “Everyone has different risk factors and different rates of tartar and plaque buildup, ” Hawley says. Some people should go in every 3 or 4 months; others can go a little longer6 months, a year or more, Hawley says. It all depends on your individual circumstances.( Check out these 12 things dentists know about you just by looking at your mouth .) Talk to your oral health professional to identify how often you should schedule exams and cleanings.

Annual cardiac stress test

According to the American College of Cardiology( ACC ), a cardiac stress test may be one more thing you can cross off your to-do list. “If you have no symptoms and are low danger for heart diseaseand that includes no high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, family history, or high cholesterolthere’s genuinely no is beneficial for a stress test, ” tells William Zoghbi, MD, director of cardiovascular imaging at Houston Methodist and past president of the ACC. That also goes for regular electrocardiograms( EKGs) and exercise stress tests. Doing the test every year on a “just in case” basis can lead to unnecessary invasive procedures and excess radiation. So, if you’re at low danger and have no symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or irregular heartbeats, you can probably skip it.

Bone density tests

If you haven’t yet reached your 65 th birthday, and you don’t have risk factors for serious bone loss( such as smoking, drinking heavily, having a low body weight, very low vitamin D levels, rheumatoid arthritis, or long-term utilize of corticosteroids ), you can likely postpone this test. A bone density test, also known as a DEXA scan, is a type of X-ray that measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in your bones. Most people don’t require the test since they are don’t have bone loss( or have very mild bone loss) and are at low danger for violating a bone. Moreover, if you do have a scan and it sees mild bone loss, the medications used to treat it may help for only a few years( or not help at all ), and they can have some side effects.

Instead, work on protecting your bones: Do aerobic and strength exercises, get enough calcium and vitamin D, limit alcohol uptake, don’t smoke, and avoid taking( or at least restriction) drugs that could harm the bones, such as corticosteroids.( Here’s how to tell if you have a vitamin D inadequacy .)

PET or CT scans

Knowing how serious some diseases are, it may seem wise to get a CT scan to screen for lung cancer, or a whole-body PET-CT scan, who are capable of look for cancers in nearly any area of the body. But these procedures are not suited for routine utilize. Based on analyses employing PET/ CT for screening, the likelihood of procuring cancer in adults who have no signs or symptoms of the disease is extremely low( around 1 %), in agreement with the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. And then there’s the radiation issue again. “Radiation amasses over your lifetime, ” Arthur tells. “So when people come in and tell, ‘I’m worried about cancer. I want to have imaging every year, ‘ they’re actually increasing their overall danger of cancer by constantly uncovering themselves to radiation, ” she tells. The only people who may need CT scans to screen for lung cancer are those who are age 55 to 74 and have been smoking heavily for a very long time( a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years) and either still smoking or quit within the past 15 years.( It’s never too late to quit smoking .) PET scanning is used most often in people who have already been diagnosed with cancer.

Urinary catheter

If you’ve ever had a urinary catheter inserted, you know it’s not fun. The good news is you may be able to decline it next time. Oftentimes, catheters aren’t used for necessity, but for the convenience of the hospital faculty( and perhaps you ). And, unfortunately, they increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection( UTI ). A catheter may be required if you’ve had surgery on your urinary system, you’re critically ill and the medical staff needs to monitor your urine output, you have a urinary obstruction and need relief, or there’s pain with urination during end-of-life care. Otherwise, you can probably tell the nurse, “No, thanks.” Go to choosingwisely.org for more tests and procedures you should think twice about.

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8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News
8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News
8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News
8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News
8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News

8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News

8 Unnecessary Medical Tests And Procedures You Maintain Getting | Fox News

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