Some of us actually do get better as we get older, but some days it may not feel like it. There are certain things we have to do as we get past 50 to maintain our health, and a few more as we get past 60 and beyond. But preventive maintenance is always the best way to take care of our bodies. With the advances in modern medicine if we can address many of these health issues when they are small, we can control and even eliminate many of them.
Many of the issues that we must watch out for as we age will be tested for in our regular check-ups, and if you don’t get them, you should start. There are a few other issues that some of us, due to risk factors that we’ve inherited or have brought on in our lifestyle, will have to be monitored closer. Here are a few potential problem areas that we all want to be aware of as we get older.
• Lung cancer. Or the first time major medical groups now are recommending lung cancer screening for smokers and former smokers age 55 to 74. These are only for people who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day over an extended period. Lung cancer screening is not recommended for the general population, as the risks of invasive follow-up tests outweigh the benefits. There are, however, less evasive tests that can be done in normal check-ups.
• Prostate cancer. This test that was considered so necessary to detect prostate cancer just a few years ago has become quite controversial. This is because the test is both costly and in almost all cases unnecessary. First, only a small percentage of men will test positive. Then nobody can tell even with a positive test if the cancer will grow rapidly or so slowly a man could die of natural causes before it causes a problem. Lastly, when cancer is detected it could set off medical procedures that could cause more harm than good. If prostate surgery is recommended, it is advisable to proceed very cautiously, getting multiple opinions.
• Colon cancer. Here the choices are a lot more clear-cut. It is recommended to get screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 for men considered medium risk, and earlier for those at higher risk. There is a non-invasive procedure, called fecal occult blood tests, which should be done annually for those people.
• Heart health and aspirin. If you are considered high risk, talk to your doctor about taking a daily baby aspirin after 50. It is not recommended for everyone, but a daily low-dose pill is thought to reduce the risk of heart attack for high-risk men. This should only be done with the approval of a doctor, as the pill could make the individual to ulcers and severe bleeding for some.
As we get older we have to watch our health a little closer, but it certainly doesn’t mean we should get paranoid and live on a pill diet. Medical research is advancing all the time, and it’s up to us to make sure we keep abreast of changes, and also be sure that are doctor does as well. Your medical checkups should be a conversation, not a lecture.
Source by Rich Carroll