Medical tests are an important part of healthcare. Blood tests, x-rays, cancer screenings and other studies help your doctor find out if something's wrong. They help show if treatment is working. But before you agree to have a medical test, it's good to ask some questions. Here's what you need to know.
This is a test that shows how your heart works when you're active. It can show problems with your heart. Your doctor may schedule this test if you have signs of coronary artery disease, or if you have an irregular heart rhythm. A cardiac stress test can also show how well a certain treatment is working. Here's what you can expect during your test.
This scan lets doctors see inside your body. A PET scan is different from an MRI or a CT scan, because it shows how your organs and systems are working. It can give doctors a clear view of some types of cancer cells, which show up brightly on a PET scan. It can also help doctors diagnose other disorders throughout your body.
Ultrasound imaging is a test that uses sound waves to make detailed pictures of your organs. There are three different kinds of ultrasound imaging: abdominal, pelvic, and Doppler ultrasound. Each of these imaging tests can help your healthcare provider assess pain or other symptoms in different parts of your body. Ultrasound does not involve any radiation, and is generally a very safe procedure. Still, you should discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.
This is a group of tests performed on a sample of your blood. The tests measure different chemicals in your blood plasma. This is the pale yellow liquid part of your blood. Your blood cells float in this liquid. By examining your plasma, your doctor can learn about the health of many systems in your body.
This is an examination of your blood cells. It gives your doctor information about your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, along with other features of your blood. Your doctor may recommend this test as part of your routine healthcare, or to look for signs of a specific disease or disorder. Your doctor may also use this test to monitor a blood disorder or to monitor your health during treatment.