You have reached the age in which "you have learned some things", as someone once said, "the age when you know what you should do". Fortunately, this includes asking for a shift with your doctor on a regular basis to stay healthy. As your father once did, the 50 may have marked the beginning of a slow decline, and there is no reason why you can not stay healthy and robust for much longer.
The older men get, says Dr. Gary Rogg, an internist at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, more nervous about visiting their doctors and finding that they have a chronic disease that requires supervision and medication, and who wants that? Instead, he says, you should think about getting preventative medical care to take it in a more positive and proactive way: "Men are reluctant to take medication (say, for high blood pressure or cholesterol) because they fear its adverse effects I tell them to think about the much worse effect of not knowing what is happening and not being able to remedy it. "
At 50, you should ask for a turn to get your first colonoscopy, but if you have a family history related to that disease (a primary relative with colon cancer) or you're African-American, you should start doing the tests at 40. The preparation can be repulsive but the process is relatively painless and important. Not just for the test, says Dr. David K. Spindell, interim medical practitioner and vice president of the medical affairs division at Abbott Diagnostics, but also for the immediate treatment of any polyp that can be found.
If your test gives a normal result, you will need to repeat it only every 10 years, says Rogg; but you still have to have a fecal occult blood test as part of your testing routine. So think about the benefit you'll get when your doctor inserts a gloved finger into your rectum during your annual exam. This test for occult fecal blood is important, as its presence may be an early indicator of colon cancer.
Cardiac Health Review
Although an ECG and a cardiac stress test are not routinely recommended unless you have risk factors such as a family history or are experiencing some symptoms, "asking for a basic ECG is reasonable to suggest during this decade, "says Rogg." One thing that can come out on an ECG is high waves, which can suggest a thickened heart muscle, possibly caused by untreated high blood pressure. " This result requires the supervision of a cardiologist, says Rogg.
Ask your doctor if taking a low daily dose of aspirin is right for you, since it is for most men this age, says Spindell, unless you have some sort of disorder with regard to coagulation.A study of the cardiology journal "Circulation" agrees that the therapy is useful and cost-effective. It will not hurt you and potentially can do you much good: "It has been shown that a low dose of aspirin per day can decrease the incidence of heart disease," says Spindell.
Screening for prostate cancer
If you're not sure if you want a test for prostate cancer, you're not the only one, since there has been a recent controversy. The American Cancer Society says that starting at the age of 50, you should discuss the pros and cons of this test. Do it at 45 if you are African-American or if your father or brother has developed prostate cancer before age 65, with your doctor. What is the reason to have that talk instead of taking the test definitely? The standard test, a blood test that looks for a specific antigen of the prostate, can be misinterpreted if it is not read carefully and can lead to a possible unnecessary biopsy.
"A high PSA may indicate cancer or not, since false positives are common," says Spindell. Even if cancer is detected accurately, it can be benign or grow so slowly that it will never become a problem, while aggressive treatment can leave you incontinent and helpless.
For this reason, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends not performing routine PSA tests, a position with which the American Urological Association disagrees vigorously, as they say, usually the signs of prostate cancer are detected by a doctor for the first time during a routine check The best thing you can do is talk with your doctor about what is right for you. If you experience problems urinating, or see blood in your urine or semen, or have trouble ejaculating, call your doctor directly.
Update of vaccines
Those born during the so-called "birth boom", pay attention: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a recommendation that all those born between 1945 and 1965 be tested of hepatitis C. The CDC says that 75% of adults who have the virus were born during those years. The reasons why this rate is so high are not fully understood, but what is known for sure is that early detection and treatment will save lives. Previously, it was recommended that only those who had certain risk factors, including the use of IV drugs or performing tattoos in dirty places, be tested, but as there are so many people who carry the virus silently, and considering that hepatitis C It can lead to deadly diseases, including cirrhosis or liver cancer, being tested seems a wise idea.
Also check your protection against tetanus, since you need to get the vaccine every 10 years.