Health Screening Guidelines for Middle Age Men and Women
Midlife is the time to start taking health and wellness issues seriously. Even if those in great shape, should pay closer attention to their health. Today, many health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes can be successfully treated if caught early.
At middle age, health risks for certain diseases increase. Learning what is a healthy diet can be as important as a healthy fitness program to ward off many ailments triggered by aging. However, health screenings can detect diseases well before they impact your life.
Below are health screening guidelines that experts say people hitting their 40s should follow:
Get Checked for Colon Cancer
The colonoscopy might be uncomfortable, but it can be a life saver. Colon cancer is the 3rd most common type of cancer in both men and women. It’s also the 2nd leading cause of death by cancer. While colonoscopy is the most well known type of screening for this cancer, other methods are available, such as Fecal Occult Blood Test, Sigmoidoscopy and Digital Rectal Exam. Talk with your physician about which method is right for you.
Check the Health of Your Heart
Heart and vascular disease risk can increase as we age. Blood tests can help detect cholesterol levels. Other ways physicians check the heart health include taking your blood pressure and checking your pulse. If you’ve experienced chest pains, they may do an electrocardiogram to determine if it’s been damaged.
Screen for Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can occur gradually as we age. If there is a family history of diabetes, your risk factor rises. Obesity is also another cause. A simple blood test can detect sugar levels. If detected, a well rounded nutrition and fitness plan can help reduce complications and even reverse diabetes.
For Middle Age Men: Start Checking for Prostate Cancer
Detected early, prostate cancer can be survivable. Besides the general prostate exam most men are familiar with during their annual physical exam, PSA blood tests might be able to detect cancer at an early stage.
For Middle Age Women: Check for Breast Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 69 women between the ages of 40 and 49 will be diagnosed with breast cancer. For women between 50 and 59, 1 in 42 will be diagnosed with this disease. Breast cancer screening can check for signs of the disease before symptoms appear. According to the CDC a mammogram is the best way to detect breast cancer.
For Middle Age Women: Don’t forgo Gynecological Exams
The fifth most common cancer for women, ovarian cancer is a high risk for women age 55 and older. A gynecological examination is required to detect abnormal mass in the ovaries. Even women who have experienced a hysterectomy should continue to see their gynecologist if their ovaries are still intact.