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Prevention Tests: What Do You Need?

Use this handy calculator to find out what preventive tests you need at your age.

Answer five simple questions online and get a list of screenings and medical counseling recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), along with information about the preventive service recommendation.

Enter your age, sex, whether you are pregnant, use tobacco, or are sexually active.  Click on get recommendations for your personal preventive services profile.

In addition to recommended preventive services, which the USPSTF has given either an “A” or “B” rating, services that are not recommended are listed, which may help you make better healthcare choices with your doctor.

There is also a list of “I” recommendations for people with your profile for which the USPSTF is uncertain because they believe there is not enough information about risks and benefits for that preventive service.

As part of the new healthcare legislation, beginning in September 2010, new health insurance plans or existing plans that make substantial changes to their coverage will be required to cover all preventive health services that have an A or B recommendation from the USPSTF without any cost sharing (copays or deductibles).

Medicare must begin coverage of recommended tests for all enrollees on January 1, 2011 without cost sharing.

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4 Comments

  1. Laura Morefield said:

    The problem with this tool, from my perspective, is that it doesn’t even address screening for colon issues. I was diagnosed Stage IV at 48 years of age and, although asymptomatic, might have at least had it hit my radar screen due to other cancers in the family.

  2. Laura Morefield said:

    Thanks for the further referral, Kate. That’s a much better (more thorough) site for evaluating risk. As it happens, I had none of those risk factors and still ended up with colon cancer at 48 (Stage IV when diagnosed).

    What is “average risk?” Does that mean a certain percentage of the population will get CRC regardless of risk factors?

    Thanks for your help!

  3. Kate Murphy said:

    Unfortunately, 80 percent of colorectal cancer patients will have no family history or personal medical risks like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis.

    While their cancers appear to come “out of the blue” there are probably risk factors that we don’t know about yet that make them more susceptible to colon or rectal cancer.

    We know that smoking, high consumption of red meat, and obesity make colon cancer more likely.

    But non-smokers, vegetarians, and people of normal weight also get colon cancer.

    For most people the most important risk factor is age — there are more colorectal cancers as people get older.

    So “average risk” is defined as people 50 and older who have no family or personal history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps.

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