As we age, we should begin getting medical health screenings that monitor the effects of aging upon our body’s organs.
On the far side of 55 we especially want to know, and understand, the average readings of our blood pressure, our cholesterol levels, our liver toxicity levels, thyroid hormone production, and other crucial functions of our body.
Many of the ailments associated with aging can be detected with early pre-screening tests. Some of these screenings are not comfortable. Nor are they dignified. Yet, the right tests done early enough, could help catch problems while they’re still treatable.
Colonoscopies, for example, fall into the category of not dignified. However, a colonoscopy is an essential test to discover early signs of colon cancer in both men and women.
Also, colonoscopies lets the specialists see internal bleeding that may be going on without your knowledge. For us men, a colonoscopy can help our doctor see signs of prostate cancer. Caught soon enough, cancer of the prostrate, responds well to treatment.
For women, it’s important you don’t skip breast exams. (There’re ongoing discussions about needing them annually.) Regardless of the timing, starting at the age of forty, women should have regular mammograms done. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, so act according.
Also, if you have a family history of breast cancer, like my wife Treasa’s family does, your doctor may suggest a mammogram more often than the norm.
As we age, our bones can weaken and lose density. A bone density test will tell the story. These tests are usually recommended for men and women who are over sixty, but if you’re at a higher risk, it may be needed sooner.
One of the high risk factors is osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle. When you have osteoporosis, you’re more likely to fracture or break bones, making a bone density test even more important. With this condition, a fall when you’re older is usually more serious.
Pap smears are as important as a breast exam or mammogram. And, women in their fifties and sixties are just as susceptible to cervical cancer as younger women are.
Pap smears are recommended for women every two years regardless of whether or not you’re sexually active. These screenings aren’t just for cancer. They can also help your doctor check for irregular bleeding or other problems.
One of the most important tests, is cholesterol screening. Men are more prone to high cholesterol. But studies show that women over fifty tend to develop high cholesterol over the years.
High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. As you grow older, make sure your cholesterol levels are checked periodically.
Ideas for me, your aging related story, or comments are very damn welcome.