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Get Screened

The Basics

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases before there are any symptoms. Screenings can help doctors find diseases early, when the diseases may be easier to treat.

Getting screening tests is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Depending on your age and sex, you may need to be screened for:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Hearing loss or vision loss

How do I know which screening tests to get?
Different screening tests are needed at different ages. Check the screening guidelines below for your age and sex. Use these guidelines to start a conversation with your doctor about screening.

For women:

For men:

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Talk with a doctor or nurse about which screenings are right for you.

Find out about screening tests you may need.
Use the myhealthfinder tool to get a list of recommendations based on your age, sex, and pregnancy status. Print out the list and take it with you to your next doctor’s appointment.

Gather your family’s medical history.
Talk to your relatives to find out which diseases run in your family. Use this family health history tool to keep track of what you learn. Share the information with your doctor.

Make a list of questions to ask your doctor.
Going to the doctor can be stressful. It can help to write down your questions about screening tests ahead of time.

Check out these questions for the doctor about screenings for:

You can also use this tool to build your own list of questions for the doctor.

Talk with your doctor about getting screened.
Your doctor or nurse can help you decide which screenings are right for you. Some tests are needed once a year, while others are needed more or less often.

Tell your doctor or nurse about diseases that run in your family, and share any concerns about your health. This will help you decide together which screening tests you may need.

If you don’t have a doctor or nurse, check out these tips on choosing a doctor you can trust.

Make sure to get the results from every screening.
You may need to call to get your test results if the doctor doesn’t call you. Ask your doctor or nurse to explain the results to you.

What about cost?
Most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, will pay for screening tests recommended by your doctor or nurse. Also, many screening tests are covered under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010.

Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screening tests at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

You can still get important screening tests even if you don't have insurance. Find a health center near you to learn more.

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