Top 10 Diagnostic Tests
A mammogram is a special type of X-ray of the breasts. Mammograms can show cysts or tumors long before they are big enough for you or your health care provider to feel. Mammograms are recommended every year or two for women older than 40. They are also recommended for younger women who have symptoms of breast cancer or who have a high risk of the disease.
Echocardiography (EK-o-car-dee-OGG-ra-fee)is a painless test that uses sound waves to make a moving picture of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures. A tech will use a small device on your skin to make images that will show how your heart is working. There is no exposure to radiation during this test.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A Complete Blood Count (CBC) is a common blood test performed to diagnose a number of different medical conditions such as anemia or infection. Specimens are collected by a specially trained person called a phlebotomist (fleh-BOT-oh-mist). He/she will take blood from a vein in your arm, from your finger, or heel (in infants). This test measures red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin (iron in the blood), and others.
A test to look into the rectum and colon. The doctor uses a long narrow tube that bends with a light and tiny lens on the end. This tube is called a colonoscope. A colonoscopy is helpful in finding colon cancer, ulcers, swelling and other problems in the colon. For colon cancer screening, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years after age 50.
Prothrombin Time (PT)
The prothrombin time (PT test) is a common blood test. It's also called a "protime". It measures the time it takes for your blood to clot. If you take medicine that thins your blood (such as Coumadin), you will have a PT test often. Certain foods and/or medicines can interfere with the results of this test. For this reason, you may need to have a PT test on a regular basis for a period of time.
Bone Density Study
A Bone Density Study is a type of X-ray to measure bone loss. Certain diseases, medications, or conditions cause bones to thin. These include osteoporosis (AWS-tee-o-pour-OWE-sis), taking drugs called steroids for a long time, and thyroid disease. It's normal for bones to thin with age.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a picture of the inside of the body. It's like an X-ray, but is much more detailed. This test lets your doctors see pictures of the inside of your body (muscles, nerves, bones and other organs such as the gall bladder).
Computer Axial Tomography (CT or CAT Scan)
A CT Scan or CAT Scan is another kind of X-ray test that takes many pictures to show parts inside your body. This test lets doctors find blood clots, tumors, infections, and other diseases and conditions. View more info about CT Scans here...
An electrocardiogram (ee-lek-trow-CAR-dee-oh-gram) is a test that shows how the heart is pumping. A tech will put a number of small things called electrodes (ee-LEK-t-roads) on your skin and connect them to a machine. The machine's printout will show your doctor conditions like a heart attack, a heart that beats too slow or fast, and more. Another name for this test is ECG or EKG.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA Test)
PSA or prostate specific antigen is a substance made by cells in a man's prostate gland. A high level of PSA can suggest prostate disease (especially prostate cancer). Your doctor may recommend that you have a PSA test from time to time.