Echocardiograms for Heart Valve Disease

Valve disease is caused by a heart valve that does not work the way it should. A test called an echocardio­gram can show how serious the problem is and if it is getting worse. But if your valve disease is mild, and it is not causing any symptoms, you probably don’t need to have the… Read more »

Imaging Tests After a Heart Procedure

If you’ve had bypass surgery or a stent inserted to open a blocked artery in your heart, you may wonder if you need regular imaging tests to see how well your treatment is working. Imaging tests take pictures of your heart. Ultrasound and echocardiography tests take pictures using sound waves. Coronary CT scans use x-rays… Read more »

Stress Tests for Chest Pain

A stress test makes the heart work hard so your doctor can see if it is healthy. In a simple exercise stress test, you walk or jog on a treadmill. You are connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures your heart’s electrical activity. Some stress tests use imaging to take pictures of your heart while… Read more »

Heart Imaging Tests Before Surgery

If you’re having surgery, you may wonder whether you need an imaging test of your heart. It seems like this could help ensure that it is safe for you to have the surgery. But imaging tests usually aren’t helpful unless you are having heart surgery. They also don’t help if you haven’t had a stroke… Read more »

Heart Imaging Tests Before Surgery

If you’re having surgery, you may wonder if you need an imaging test of your heart to make sure it is safe for you to have the surgery. But if you are not having heart surgery and you don’t have symptoms or risk factors for heart disease, the imaging tests may not be helpful. Here’s why:… Read more »

Testing After Heart Procedures

If you’ve had bypass surgery or a stent inserted to open a blocked artery in your heart, you may wonder if you need a nuclear stress test to see how well your treatment is working. This test takes pictures of your heart while it is being stressed. The test uses a small amount of a… Read more »

Drugs to Prevent Infection During Chemotherapy

If you are being treated for cancer, it’s normal to want to do everything you can to become cancer-free. Many cancer treatments save lives. But most people do not need every treatment there is. The treatment may not be helpful. And the side effects and costs may be greater than the benefits. One treatment is… Read more »

Imaging Tests for Early Prostate Cancer

It is normal to want to do everything you can to treat prostate cancer. But it’s not always a good idea to get all the tests that are available. You may not need them. And the risks from the tests may be greater than the benefits. The information below explains why cancer experts usually do… Read more »

Imaging and Tumor Marker Tests for Breast Cancer

When you learn that you have breast cancer, it’s normal to want to do everything you can to treat it and be sure it doesn’t come back. But it’s not always a good idea to get all the tests that are available. You may not need them. And the risks may be greater than the… Read more »

Chronic Kidney Disease

Your kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood in your body. This waste and water then leave your body as urine. Without the kidneys, the waste would keep building up and, over time, you would die. When the kidneys are not healthy, they have a hard time removing waste from the blood. Chronic… Read more »

Spirometry for Asthma

Spirometry is a simple breathing test. It measures how much air flows in and out of your lungs. If you have symptoms that could be a sign of asthma—like shortness of breath—you should have a spirometry test. Here’s why: Asthma and other diseases can have the same symptoms. When you have asthma, the lining of the airways in… Read more »

Painkillers with Kidney or Heart Problems

When people have pain, they often take pain medicines called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These include: Advil and Motrin (generic and store-brand ibuprofen). Ibuprofen is also in other over-the-counter drugs, such as cold medicines. Aleve (generic and store-brand naproxen). Celebrex (generic celecoxib). NSAIDs help ease pain and inflammation. But if you have high blood pressure,… Read more »

Chest X-rays Before Surgery

Many people have a chest X-ray before they have surgery. This is called a “pre-op” chest X-ray. “Pre-op” stands for preoperative, which means that it is before an operation, or surgery. If you have a heart or lung disease, you may want to get a pre-op chest X-ray. It can show medical problems, like an… Read more »

Treating Heartburn and GERD

Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads for heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are called PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). They keep the stomach from making too… Read more »

Pap Tests

A Pap test is a test of cells in the cervix. The cervix is the opening between the vagina and the uterus. The Pap test looks for cells that are not normal and can cause cancer of the cervix. This is also called cervical cancer. Most women ages 21 to 65 need regular Pap tests…. Read more »