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Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine


What is a Screening Test?

Screening tests are important medical tests that can help protect against certain diseases. Some screening tests find diseases early when they are most treatable, while others can actually play a role in stopping diseases before they start.

To help protect against cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis, these conditions should be tested for regularly:

• Colon and rectal cancer
• Breast cancer
• Cervical cancer
• High blood pressure
• High blood sugar
• Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels
• Overweight/Obesity
• Low bone density

Tests also exist for prostate cancer. Though, it’s currently not clear that the benefits of such tests outweigh their risks.

Ask a doctor which screening tests are right for you and how often you should have them. Which tests you should have and how often you should have them depends on your age, sex, medical history, family history, and lifestyle choices.

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