By Cindy Aldrige, F.N.P., Provider for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.
Did you know there is preventive care for your body, just like preventive care for a vehicle or anything that has constantly moving parts?
Turning 50 is a milestone in healthcare.
Turning 50 is when we start thinking about screening for disease processes that typically happen in a more “mature” adult rather than in younger adults.
For men, prostate screening through blood work starts at 50 for average risk patients (sooner for increased risk patients and African Americans). Some providers will also screen a manual (finger) prostate exam if the patient is symptomatic for enlarged prostate as well as the blood work for cancer screening.
For women at age 50, breast cancer screening via mammogram for standard risk patients or MRI for higher risk or genetically positive patients becomes a very important ANNUAL exam. Current recommendations at age 40 for women is either yearly or every other year screening, but 50 it is definitely annually.
For both men and women routine screening for colon cancer is done at age 50 by a colonoscopy, the preferred method, or other screening tools like Cologuard or a hemoccult card. Colon cancer can be prevented by including a high fiber diet in your meal plan. Talk with your healthcare provider about getting this scheduled.
Shingrix, the current shingles vaccine, is now also recommended at age 50 (Zostavax use to be 60). Even if you’ve had shingles in the past or the old shingles vaccine Zostavax, you should still get the two dose series of Shingrix as it is much more effective at preventing the chicken pox virus from causing a shingles rash and shingles pain in your body.
Cholesterol screening, immunizations, skin checks and other screening tools are key in keeping up your preventive maintenance. There are other screens that happen at your annual physical depending on your risks, history, family history etc.
Make sure you’re eating healthy and getting physical activity daily to help keep your body strong and healthy.
If any of this applies to you, and you haven’t been doing preventative maintenance, go and schedule your annual physical today!