Here are some tips to keep you healthy after you have reached your 50th birthday.
There are a number of recommendations from different groups regarding screening procedures. And to be fair, some differ in their recommendations. Based on scientific findings, here is what the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggests:
Men and Women
Of course, there may be other screening tests your doctor may suggest. Also, if you are concerned about any conditions you may think you have or that run in your family, talk with your doctor about being tested for these conditions. For example, you may consider tests for glaucoma or skin cancer. At your doctor's visit, discuss any changes you have noticed in your health, such as vision or hearing changes.
In addition to screening tests, USPSTF suggests other ways to maintain your health and prevent serious conditions from creeping up on you.
Prevention in a Pill or Shot?
Aspirin has been shown to prevent heart disease and strokes in some patients. Ask your doctor if taking aspirin is right for you.
Make sure to get a flu shot every year. Other shots to consider include those to prevent pneumonia, and shingles. Influenza and pneumonia vaccines in particular have been shown to prevent hospitalization and death in the elderly population, and potential risks are minimal. Talk with your doctor about which immunizations are right for you.
Also, women who have a family history of breast cancer may want to speak with their doctor about medicines used to prevent breast cancer.
American Cancer Society
National Institute on Aging
The College Family Physicians of Canadian
Public Health Agency of Canada
Annual mammograms now recommended for women beginning at age 40. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/About%20ACOG/News%20Room/News%20Releases/2011/Annual%20Mammograms%20Now%20Recommended%20for%20Women%20Beginning%20at%20Age%2040.aspx. Published July 20, 2011. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Cervical cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116761/Cervical-cancer-screening. Updated October 6, 2016. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Mammography for breast cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115728/Mammography-for-breast-cancer-screening. Updated June 9, 2016. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Men: Stay Healthy at 50+—Checklists for Your Health. AHRQ Publication No. 14-IP009-A, 2014 Update. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Available at: http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/men50.htm. Updated August 2015. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Osteoporosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113815/Osteoporosis. Updated November 30, 2016. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Prostate cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113802/Prostate-cancer-screening. Updated July 7, 2017. Accessed February 15, 2017.
Screening for breast cancer. US Preventive Services Task Force website. Available at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsbrca.htm . Updated January 2016. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Screening for cervical cancer. US Preventive Services Task Force website. Available at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspscerv.htm. Updated March 2012. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Women: Stay Healthy at 50+—Checklists for Your Health. AHRQ Publication No. 14-IP002-A, 2014 Update. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Available at: http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/women50.htm. Updated August 2015. Accessed February 10, 2017.
Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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