Health Screenings for those 50 and Over

Health Screenings for those 50 and Over

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As we age, taking care of ourselves becomes more important. The last thing any retiree wants is to be sick and unable to enjoy their free time, so it's important to make sure everything is fine. The best way to do this is by taking advantage of the many health screenings available, from colon cancer to heart disease to osteoporosis and more. Many of these can be free of charge, so they allow people to save their money while also saving their lives.

 

 

Cardiovascular and cholesterol screening

One of the most important screenings seniors can get is a cardiovascular and cholesterol screening. Heart disease is one of the biggest killers, but the reality is many deaths can be prevented if people took preventive measures. Checking lipid, triglyceride and cholesterol levels can be a first step toward preventing a heart attack or stroke. Many of these screenings also include a check of one's circulation to see if there are any blockages forming, allowing people to catch a possibly deadly situation in time.

 

Cancer screenings

Cancer screenings also important, and none more so for women than breast cancer screenings. A deadly killer if not caught early, it's also one of the most survivable and preventable of all cancers. Getting an annual mammogram is important for all women, especially those with a family history of breast cancer or other cancer. Senior women should take advantage of this screening, since Medicare pays for one screening per year. For those not on Medicare, there are numerous free or low-cost screenings given each year throughout communities in the United States, making it nearly impossible to have a good excuse to not get one.

 

Screening for Osteoporosis

One of the biggest fears of people as they age is falling and breaking an arm, leg or hip. Osteoporosis is the leading cause of seniors having broken bones when they fall, since the condition causes bones to become less dense and more brittle. More common in women than men, it is something that should be taken very seriously as people age. Detected through a bone mass measurement, many senior organizations offer free or low-cost screenings yearly for those wanting to stay on top of this condition. Medicare covers a screening once every two years, so between this and other available screenings seniors should be able to keep track of this potential condition.

 

Colorectal screening

Another cancer screening that is getting more and more attention the past few years is colorectal screening. Colon cancer, also very treatable if caught early, is fast becoming one of the nation's most prolific killers. Yet, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure with this cancer as well, with many cases being preventable if caught early enough. Naturally, due to the nature of the condition and what's involved leading up to and during the screening, many people shy away from this procedure. However, as more celebrities such as Katie Couric and others bring it much-needed attention this screening is becoming more common with people. Also covered by Medicare, the screenings can detect polyps before they become cancerous, leading to numerous saved lives each year.

 

While some of these screenings may be somewhat unpleasant, having them done can save one's life or that of a loved one. After all, a slight bit of discomfort now is worth it to be alive later on.

 

Foto: © Robert Kneschke - Fotolia.com

Editor, 11/28/2013

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