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Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:35 pm
by Caduceus
I'll be visiting friends overseas in a week or so and have the option of getting some fairly inexpensive health screening tests done. There's a basic package that covers the usual (blood count, liver profile, etc.) but the doctors there also offer add-on tests. Which ones are worth it to get? (Without discussing specific health topics, which is forbidden)

One reason it's so inexpensive is that this is just pure diagnostics bloodwork; I have to bring the results back home if I want an extended interpretation of what the numbers all mean.

Here are some of the add-ons:

Hep C test: $30
Vitamin D deficiency test: $35
Testosterone: $40
Spirometry: $40
Electrocardiogram (ECG): $100
PSA test (for prostate cancer?): $30
CA 19-9 test (for pancreatic cancer?): $35

Can anyone just point out which of these represent really good value for money? My insurance doesn't cover most (all?) of these tests, I think.

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:40 pm
by dm200
Caduceus wrote:I'll be visiting friends overseas in a week or so and have the option of getting some fairly inexpensive health screening tests done. There's a basic package that covers the usual (blood count, liver profile, etc.) but the doctors there also offer add-on tests. Which ones are worth it to get? (Without discussing specific health topics, which is forbidden)
One reason it's so inexpensive is that this is just pure diagnostics bloodwork; I have to bring the results back home if I want an extended interpretation of what the numbers all mean.
Here are some of the add-ons:
Hep C test: $30
Vitamin D deficiency test: $35
Testosterone: $40
Spirometry: $40
Electrocardiogram (ECG): $100
PSA test (for prostate cancer?): $30
CA 19-9 test (for pancreatic cancer?): $35
Can anyone just point out which of these represent really good value for money? My insurance doesn't cover most (all?) of these tests, I think.
Can you ask your current (US) physician what he/she thinks?

Insurance plans differ, of course, but several of the ones you cite are covered by my health plan at no or lower cost than what you cite.

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:42 pm
by The Wizard
This sounds like a rq for MEDICAL ADVICE.
*sigh*

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:59 pm
by jebmke
Caduceus wrote:Which ones are worth it to get? (Without discussing specific health topics, which is forbidden)
How can you discuss value without discussing medical? I've never had a test that I considered "fun" or of value other than for its medical purpose.

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:02 pm
by SmileyFace
I'd ask my Doctor. He doesn't charge me for phone call.
(not sure how you expect us to respond since we don't know you - depends upon your condition; Vitamin-D deficiency might matter if you don't eat right and don't get sun; PSA only matters if you are man and there is a lot of controversy around that test which you should talk to your Dr about these days - ; etc. Your Dr is the right person to ask.).

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:07 pm
by Caduceus
OK, I guess it is really hard to answer this without going into medical discussions, so please consider this thread closed. :D

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:08 pm
by mhalley
The only test I would consider without any symptoms would be hep C.

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:14 pm
by Teague
A relative just had $450,000 worth of salvage radiation treatment for prostate cancer that probably could have been cured the first time if caught early enough. From a strictly value standpoint, for them at least, a $30 PSA test could have have been quite a bargain.

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:15 pm
by Forsberg21
The only one with evidence for screening in the absence of symptoms is the HCV antibody, and that's only indicated if you are born between 1945-65. Otherwise none are indicated for general screening tests. This of course depends on your medical history and any new or chronic symptoms.

You should speak with your physician.

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:28 pm
by PFInterest
How old are you?

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:41 pm
by Nowizard
I can't speak for everywhere, but the prices you list are no cheaper than you would pay in many areas of the country. I would go to a symptom checker site and enter any symptoms you have in order to obtain information that could lead you to choose specific tests.

Tim

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 3:25 pm
by LadyGeek
This thread has run its course and is locked (medical advice). See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I'd like to suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes lists of their top recommended sites in the following categories: consumer health, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also provide a larger, but less frequently updated, list called Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust.