Detect cancer early
One important component to living a long and healthy life is to get preventive health screenings for serious diseases. If your doctor finds a disease early, the problem is often easier to treat and may cause less damage. In addition to celebrating milestone birthdays, consider them reminders for certain important health checks.
Which screenings should you be getting?
Breast cancer screening - Women over the age of 40 or women at high risk for breast cancer should be getting a mammogram every year.
Cervical cancer screening - Women should be screened at least every three years. Regular testing with a pap test, with or without an HPV test, can help find cervical cell changes before they become cancer.
Colorectal cancer screening - Men and women should be screened for colorectal cancer starting at age 45 and may only need to be repeated once every 10 years.
Lung cancer screening - If you are a current smoker, past smoker, or are around people who smoke this lung cancer screening can help catch lung cancer before it causes symptoms and when it is most treatable.
Prostate cancer screening - Men over 55 years old should have a prostate screening done. If no abnormal findings, screenings only need to be done every two to three years.
Skin cancer screening - Self skin checkups are advised every month to look for suspicious moles or growths.
Screenings are just one step you can take to prevent disease later in life. Other crucial steps include:
- Avoiding tobacco
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy
- Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation, if you drink at all
Note: Screening means testing for a condition before there are signs or symptoms of disease. If you already have any abnormal symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away.
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