Preventative health measures are important at any age. A recent study has demonstrated that over the age of 50 you can expect to live one year longer by treating obesity, two years longer by treating high blood pressure and three years longer by getting better control of diabetes. These figures are about about gaining extra years – but quality of life is improved even more as you have less medical illnesses, procedures and hospitalisation. Preventative health is measurable – you gain something everytime you make a change. I have recently updated the exercise recommendations for all ages. The ‘exercise prescription’ is something you should talk to your Doctor about if you have chronic conditions. Otherwise, get out there and get going!
Diabetes is an increasing problem and we know that early intervention and lifestyle changes alter the progression and in some cases stop it developing. Are you at risk? Here is a great Type 2 diabetes Risk Assessment tool that will give you a guide to whether or not you need to make changes. The site is http://tinyurl.com/yz3zz9v.
The obvious thing if you do the assessment is that your risk goes up with many things over which you have no control – age, sex, family history. There is one parameter that dramatically increases your risk – waist measurement. This is the one that you have total control over. Do the assessment, tell me what you think of it by feeding back on the comment button below.
An Australian study has confirmed that men who receive treatment for early prostate cancer have a much reduced quality of life because of persistent impotence and incontinence. This is one of the factors which have determined that prostate cancer screening in men with no symptoms is not currently recommended. The current screening techniques – a blood test (PSA – Prostate Specific Antigen), rectal examination and rectal prostate ultrasound all detect benign as well as cancerous enlargement. Investigation is recommended for men with symptoms – difficulty starting urination, poor stream, difficulty stopping and having to get up and urinate at night. The PSA test is a source of much debate in the medical community and as recommendations change so they will here.
The problem in detecting some cancers very early is that they may not be relevant. What this means is that the cancer they may never cause any problems because other health issues are more likely to cause problems first. It is also quite possible that the immune system of the body may recognise the cancer and either stop or slow it’s progression and in some instances even remove it.
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