Good Health Blog

It’s my 50th! What should I be doing?

- July 22, 2011

Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Blood pressure checks and tests for high cholesterol are examples of screenings.

You can get some screenings, such as blood pressure readings, in your doctor’s office. Some require blood or special tests and take a few days for results to come through. After a screening test, ask when you will see the results and who you should talk to about them.

The following screening tests – in alphabetical order – might be relevant to your health.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker (smoked 100 or more cigarettes in your lifetime), talk to your Doctor about being screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). AAA is a bulging in your abdominal aorta, the largest artery in your body. An AAA may burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding and death.

Colorectal Cancer. Have a screening test for colorectal cancer. Several different tests—for example, a stool blood test and colonoscopy—can detect this cancer. Your health care team can help you decide which is best for you.

Depression. Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your health care team about being screened for depression especially if during the last 2 weeks:

* You have felt down, sad, or hopeless.
* You have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things.

Diabetes. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medication for high blood pressure. Diabetes (high blood sugar) can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.

High Blood Pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure.

High Cholesterol. High cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, and poor circulation. Have your cholesterol checked regularly.

It’s Your Body!

You know your body better than anyone else. Always tell your health care team about any changes in your health, including your vision and hearing. Ask them about being checked for any condition you are concerned about, not just the ones here. If you are wondering about diseases such as glaucoma, obesity, prostate cancer, Sexually transmitted diseases, or skin cancer, for example, ask about them.

There are other relevant screening tests dependant on your lifestyle, family and personal medical history. eDoc helps guide you through these.