Clogged Neck Arteries

There are two large arteries in the neck, one on each side. They are the carotid arteries, and they carry blood to the brain. If one of them is narrowed or blocked, it can lead to a stroke. Doctors can test for a narrowed carotid artery, but it’s usually not a good idea. In fact,… Read more »

Neck and Back Pain

If you have neck or back pain, your doctor may order electrodiagnostic tests to check your nerves and muscles. These tests can help your doctor ­find nerve or muscle damage. But in some cases, the tests aren’t needed. When you might need a test. Neck or back pain can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in… Read more »

Making Smart Decisions About Genetic Testing

Genetic testing can help identify an inherited condition or disease risk. The test results might help you and your doctor: Choose ways to prevent or treat a condition. Decide which screening tests you need (to find a disease at an early stage when it might be more treatable). Genetic testing may also tell you which… Read more »

Do I Need This Cancer Test or Treatment?

PET, CT, or bone scans to check the stage of breast or prostate cancer You don’t need the tests if cancer is found at an early stage, unless there are symptoms that worry your doctor. PET scans after cancer treatment These scans are not recommended for follow-up after cancer treatment. Ask your doctor about getting… Read more »

Colds, Flu, and Other Respiratory Illnesses in Adults

If you have a sore throat, cough, or sinus pain, you might expect to take antibiotics. After all, you feel bad, and you want to get better fast. But antibiotics don’t help most respiratory infections, and they can even be harmful. Here’s why. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses. Antibiotics fight infections caused by bacteria. But… Read more »

Blood Tests When You’re In The Hospital

If you stay in a hospital overnight or longer, you may have many blood tests. Sometimes you need all the tests, especially if you are very sick. But sometimes you get more tests than you need. Here’s what you should know about blood tests in the hospital.  Common blood tests. When you’re in the hospital,… Read more »

Whole-Body Scans to Screen for Cancer

Whole-body scans are imaging tests. They take pictures of your entire body. Medical centers usually market them directly to consumers. The medical centers say that the scans help find cancer and other diseases early. But these scans aren’t very good at finding cancer in people without symptoms. And the scans have risks and costs. Here’s… Read more »

Medicines to Treat Cancer

If you have cancer, you and your doctor will want to do everything possible to make your treatment successful and to keep you comfortable. This report looks at three types of medicines: Drugs to treat nausea during chemotherapy Two or more chemotherapy drugs for breast cancer that has spread Drugs that target certain kinds of… Read more »

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (plan-ter fash-ee-eye-tiss) is pain in the heel or arch of the foot. It is caused by irritation of the plantar fascia—the band of tissue that goes from the heel to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition. It is also called jogger’s heel. The main symptom is pain in… Read more »

Antibiotics: Will They Help You or Hurt You?

Antibiotics can help you. But they can also harm you. Talk to your health care provider to make sure you only use antibiotics for the right reasons — and at the right time. If you do take antibiotics, make sure to take full amount that you were prescribed. Do You Really Need Antibiotics? Seniors often… Read more »

CMR Tests for Chest Pain and Cardiac Screening

CMR is a test that takes pictures of your heart and blood vessels. It is a kind of MRI (magnetic resonance image). Doctors use this test to look for heart disease or to see how well the heart is working. But CMR may not be the best test for you. It may not give enough… Read more »

Tests and Treatments Your Employees May Not Need

Some employers have doctors do medical exams to help keep workers healthy and productive. Or, a new employee may be sent to the doctor before starting the job. The doctor may order tests and treatments. But some tests are not needed. And some treatments may actually be risky for employees. Plus, some­times this care can… Read more »

Dietary Supplements to Prevent Heart Disease or Cancer

Vitamins and supplements are big business in the US. Americans spent almost $34 billion on them in 2013, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. These products are heavily marketed. For many years, people believed claims that they could help prevent heart disease and cancer. There has now been a great deal of research on these… Read more »

Sleeping Pills For Insomnia

Insomnia (trouble sleeping) is a common problem. It’s considered “chronic” if it occurs three nights or more a week for at least three months. If you have trouble sleeping, you may be thinking about getting a prescription for sleeping pills. But these drugs are often not the best option. And they can cause other problems…. Read more »

Screening Tests for Brain Aneurysms

A brain aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. It can burst and cause a stroke, and can even lead to death. Doctors use imaging tests—like CT scans or MRIs—to screen for brain aneurysms. That may sound like a good idea. But the tests and follow-up can… Read more »