Most Dangerous Medical Procedures You May Want to Avoid If You’re Over 50

By the time you hit 50, you’re familiar with aches and pains you never thought you’d have. And you’re also bombarded with medical advice from well-meaning friends and family. They want you to be healthy, this is true. But getting test after test to ensure everything’s working isn’t always the best route.

The most responsible course of action: Ask your doctor about their recommendations. But for now, these medical procedures can be unnecessary — and even dangerous  — if you’re in the over-50 crowd. Half of people who undergo one common procedure absolutely don’t need it (page 9).

1. Thyroid screenings

A family doctor checks a patient's mouth and throat at her office

Get your thyroid checked, but know the risk. | Sean Gallup/ Getty Images

Getting your thyroid checked is a good thing — and if you have a family history of thyroid issues, then getting screened isn’t a bad idea. But Reader’s Digest explains ultrasounds to check for thyroid cancer often show small nodules that won’t end up growing at all.

Once you know they’re there, however, doctors often recommend you remove them or remove your thyroid altogether. If you do get this gland removed, you’ll have to take replacement hormones for life.

Next: Don’t “break your heart” with this procedure.

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