Take Control of Your Health choosing Wisely - Avoid Unnecessary Tests

When your doctor recommends a drug, treatment or test, be sure to ask if it's appropriate for you. To help guide your discussion with your doctor, we've included a list of articles below from "Consumer Reports" and other patient friendly groups.

  • Heart Tests Before Surgery
  • Heart Tests Before Surgery

    03/28/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you do not have heart problems, you probably do not need a heart test before an operation.
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  • Imaging and Blood Tests in Early Breast Cancer
  • Imaging and Blood Tests in Early Breast Cancer

    09/27/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    It is not always a good idea to get all the available tests. You may not need them. When do cancer experts recommend imaging tests and tumor marker tests?
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  • Imaging Tests After a Heart Procedure
  • Imaging Tests After a Heart Procedure

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you've had bypass surgery or a stent inserted to open a blocked artery in your heart, you may wonder if you need regular imaging tests to see how well your treatment is working.

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  • Imaging Tests for Back Pain
  • Imaging Tests for Back Pain

    09/27/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Back pain can be excruciating. So it seems that getting an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to find the cause would be a good idea. But that's usually not the case, at least at first. Most people with lower-back pain feel better in about a month whether they get an imaging test or not.
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  • Imaging Tests for Early Prostate Cancer
  • Imaging Tests for Early Prostate Cancer

    09/27/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    It is normal to want to do everything you can to treat prostate cancer. But it's not always a good idea to get all the tests that are available. You may not need them. And the risks from the tests may be greater than the benefits.
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  • Imaging Tests for Headaches
  • Imaging Tests for Headaches

    09/27/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Many people who experience severe headaches want a CT scan or MRI to see if they're caused by a brain tumor or other serious problem. But most of the time neither test is necessary.
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  • Imaging Tests for Heart Disease
  • Imaging Tests for Heart Disease

    09/27/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Imaging stress tests take pictures of the heart while it is working hard. You may need an imaging stress test if you have symptoms of heart disease, or if you already have heart disease, or if you have a high risk. But if you are a healthy person without symptoms, you should think twice about having these tests.
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  • Imaging Tests for Ovarian Cysts
  • Imaging Tests for Ovarian Cysts

    08/19/2016
    From: Consumer Reports
    Many women have repeated ultrasound exams to make sure a cyst on their ovary doesn't turn into cancer. But most of the time that's not necessary.
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  • Lab Tests Before Surgery
  • Lab Tests Before Surgery

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Blood and urine tests usually aren't helpful for low-risk surgery.
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  • Lyme Disease Tests
  • Lyme Disease Tests

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Lyme disease is usually caused by a bite from a deer tick. The disease can cause joint pain, aching muscles, and a tired feeling. There are two blood tests for Lyme disease, but usually you do not need them. 
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  • Pap Tests
  • Pap Tests

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Pap test is a test of cells in the cervix. The cervix is the opening between the vagina and the uterus. The Pap test looks for cells that are not normal and can cause cancer of the cervix. This is also called cervical cancer.

    Most women ages 21 to 65 need regular Pap tests. But teenage girls and older women usually don't need them. Here's why:
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  • Spirometry for Asthma
  • Spirometry for Asthma

    09/27/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you have symptoms that could be asthma, your doctor should perform a simple breathing test to confirm whether you have that disease or another health problem. But many people who need the test donít receive it.
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  • Stress Tests After Procedures
  • Stress Tests After Procedures

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Unless you're experiencing symptoms, this test usually isn't helpful in the first few years after heart bypass surgery or a stent procedure.
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  • Stress Tests for Chest Pain
  • Stress Tests for Chest Pain

    12/17/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you are at low risk for having a heart problem, even if you have symptoms, you usually do not need this imaging test.
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  • Tests Before Eye Surgery
  • Tests Before Eye Surgery

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you're going to have cataract surgery or another eye surgery, you may be given some medical tests first. For example, you may have an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart, or a complete blood count (CBC) to check for anemia, a low amount of red blood cells.
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  • Tests Before Heart Surgery
  • Tests Before Heart Surgery

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Your doctor may order some tests before you have a heart bypass or another kind of heart surgery. The purpose of the tests is to make the surgery safer. Two common tests are a breathing test and a carotid ultrasound test. But you probably donít need these tests, unless you have a breathing problem or symptoms.
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  • The Real Cost of CAT Scans and Procedures
  • The Real Cost of CAT Scans and Procedures

    03/01/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    From Consumer Reports magazine: Here's why health-care prices, for the same service, in the same town, are all over the map. (Hint: It's not because of variations in quality.)
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  • Vitamin D Test Only if you Need it
  • Vitamin D Test Only if you Need it

    09/29/2017
    From: Consumer Reports
    Some people don't have enough vitamin D in their body. That's why many doctors order a blood test for vitamin D.
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