(Except where indicated, this information is drawn from resources developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.)
Checking Before You Have Symptoms
Health screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. Some conditions that doctors commonly screen for include:
- breast cancer and cervical cancer in women
- colorectal cancer
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- overweight and obesity.
You can get some screenings, such as blood pressure readings, in your doctor’s office. Others, such as a test for colon cancer (called a colonoscopy) need special equipment, so you may need to go to a different office. Which screenings you need depends on your age, your sex, your family history, and whether you have risk factors for certain diseases.