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Screening Tests Recommended for Men & Women Over 50
As the old adage states, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. While eating a healthy diet and keeping fit is a great way to not have to see the doctor, as you age, there are certain things you will need to have checked to ensure you are continuing to live a healthy life.
There are different screenings for men and women when they get over the age of 50. Some screenings are required every year. Sometimes, a simple blood test can tell you whether or not you have a severe illness. Below are some of the screening tests needed for men and women over the age of 50.
Screening Tests for Men over 50
Hepatitis C Screening: Needed for anyone born between the ages of 1945 and 1965. This virus can slowly cause liver cancer or liver failure, and most people who have it, show no signs of symptoms until the infection. The screening is a simple blood test taken at the lab.
Colonoscopy: Men who are 50 or older will need to have a colonoscopy done by their doctor to check for cancer or precancerous growths in their colon and remove any problems before they become worse. Sometimes if there is a polyp detected, it is removed and tested in the lab to ensure it is not life-threatening. If you have a family history of colon cancer or have bowel issues, it is recommended to get one earlier.
Blood pressure screening: High blood pressure becomes a problem as you age because it can wear down your blood vessels which will raise your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or developing dementia. This is a painless screening, one that can even be done inside a local drug store. If your reading is high, your doctor might recommend a medication to ease the blood flow in your body to lower the pressure.
Cholesterol Check: Cholesterol is described as a fatty substance that travels through your arteries. When there is too much “bad” cholesterol, it can stack up and block blood flow. Your cholesterol can be read by taking a simple blood test.
Screening Tests for Women over 50
Hepatitis C Screening: Women over 50 are in need of hepatitis screening just like men for the same reasons.
Mammogram: Women should have their first mammogram between the ages of 40 and 40. This test gives you the opportunity to detect breast tumors early before they progress and spread. A mammogram is similar to an x-ray of the chest, revealing any cancerous tissue not visible to the naked eye. Depending on your test results and the density of your tissue, you will be required to get tested every two years.
Bone Density Test: This test will be needed for women over 65 and possibly early if there is a family history of bone issues. A dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test will help your doctor discover if any changes or osteoporosis medication is needed to protect your bones.
Blood Sugar Screening: High blood sugar can be a sign of diabetes. Diabetes can lead to eye problems and blood vessel damage and increase your chances for other health difficulties. This is done by a simple blood test and your doctor will provide you with recommendations if they are concerned with your blood sugar levels.