Medical tests you can skip

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KANSAS CITY, MO - Medical tests can be costly, time-consuming and anxiety-provoking. Some are even risky.  So, to all the hypochondriacs out there - you might be getting some tests that you don't need. So says choosingwisely.org, a website that promotes healthy discussions with your doctor about what is appropriate and necessary treatment.

Lots of ladies believe they need to be poked and prodded "down there" every year, but it's unnecessary with the type of testing used now and how slowly cervical cancer grows.

"These ladies with normal paps can feel reassured waiting three to five years depending upon their age range for their next pap smear," says Dr. Kristi Weaver of Specialists in Women's Care in Kansas City, KS.

For those under 21 - no paps at all! Think you need one to get a prescription for birth control? Nope, not even a pelvic exam.

Another test you don't need: MRIs and CT scans for headaches, if you don't have other symptoms. Same goes for lower back pain within the first six weeks. All it does is put a pain in your wallet, and CT scans boost your exposure to radiation.

Now, what about dem bones? Ladies under 65 and men under 70 don't need bone density screening--unless you're at high risk for brittle bones.

And if you think "urine" trouble if you don't tinkle, there's no need to pee in a cup, unless it burns.

"It's not necessary as a routine test," says Dr. Lee Norman, Chief Medical Officer at K.U. Hospital. "The little urine dip stick has a lot of false positives and false negatives."

And that can result in even more unwarranted testing!

Bottom line - find a regular doc and tell 'em to keep it real. We're not saying you're indestructible, but you can probably pass on some of those tests.