Aging is a natural part of the cycle of life. We are born, we live, we age, and we die. That is just the natural cycle of life. And as our body change, and the wear and tear of years have taken their toll, it is imperative that we maintain regular check-ups. You have to be mindful of your health. You have to pay close attention to even the smallest things. For example, when we are young, we do not pay attention to the things like infections, coughing, and the common cold. But as we age, even the common flu can be a symptom of something worse.
On the flip side, age also brings some positive. For example, when you are older, you have more time to spend with your loved ones. We have more time to enjoy our hobbies, we have time for traveling and more.
Today, we will talk about several health concerns you have to check on a regular basis as you get older. The agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggests women should perform these 10 health checks.
Breast cancer is slowly becoming one of the most common cancer in the world. Every year, doctors diagnose more than 3 million new cases of breast cancer. Women over 40 and older fall into the high-risk category. And when it comes to breast cancer, the best way to prevent and treat is an early diagnosis. Therefore, schedule regular mammograms to help diagnose the problem early on. Thanks to the advancement in technology and a better understanding of the disease, the health department has managed to improve the survival rate. But early diagnosis is the key.
Speaking of cancer, cervical cancer is another area of concern. Women should get a Pap smear every three years until they turn 65. If you have three negative tests in the past 10 years, you can stop Pap smear tests after 65. But same as breast cancer, early diagnosis is the key to improving the survival rate.
Colorectal cancer is usually more common among men. A big reason for that is homosexuality. Without being offensive, the fact of the matter is that colorectal cancer is more common among homosexuals. But women can get hit by it as well. As with many other cancer cases, early diagnosis is key. The American Cancer Society believes that 9 out of 10 people that have diagnosed the disease early will be alive five years later. Colonoscopy is a procedure where doctors remove small polyps before they become cancerous. Women under 75 should schedule regular colonoscopy test to look out for cancer.
BRCA1 and BRCA2
Women with a family history of breast cancer, peritoneal cancer, and ovarian cancer must consult with their doctor before getting tested. According to studies, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for 10% of all breast cancers and 15% of ovarian cancers.
Increased levels of blood glucose can be problematic on so many levels. Sugar leads to diabetes, but can also cause increased cholesterol and high blood pressure. In terms of diabetes, checking your sugar levels is crucial. If you take medications for high blood pressure, or if you have high blood pressure in general, checking your sugar levels is even more important. If left untreated, diabetes can affect the eyes, kidneys, brain, nerves, and feet.
The silent killer as many call it. If you smoke tobacco, you should definitely check your cholesterol on a regular basis. Cholesterol can cause heart disease, stroke, and heart attack in a second. One of the highest risk factors for heart health, cholesterol is an issue we often overlook. No matter if you have family members that suffered a heart attack or not, check your cholesterol on a regular basis.
It is normal to feel blue, sad, and down every now and then. However, if you feel hopeless, or you have a lack of interest, or lack in pleasure doing things for more than 10 days, it is time to see a doctor. Yes, you might be depressed. There are screenings for depression, and there are ways to treat depression as well. And no, they do not involve taking anti-depressants. Emotional health is just as important as physical health.
It is only normal for our bones to suffer as we grow old. After all, we put so much stress on our bones and on body’s structure over the years. Eventually, they will give up. DEXA scan can determine whether you have osteoporosis or not. You should start screening at age 50. And while the condition cannot be cured, there are some ways to make the pain more bearable.
This applies for smokers mostly. However, even people that do not smoke should get a chest X-ray scan. No matter if you’ve quit, or still smoke a pack per day, talk to your physician. Lung cancer lurks in the background, and X-ray is the way to diagnose it on time.