Everyone wants to age gracefully. Staying up-to-date on your tests for age-related health issues will help make it happen.
A lot of people are afraid of turning 50, but they shouldn’t be. Think about it — you’re experienced, well-adjusted, and ready for anything that comes your way. So don’t let some easily-avoidable health issue creep up and ruin all the fun.
Avoiding checkups and age-related tests won’t make health issues disappear; it simply makes problems more difficult to deal with when they inevitably arrive. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and there’s a lot of truth in this statement.
The key to quick recovery, or to avoiding illness altogether, is early detection. So here are five of the most important tests you should get done before your 50th birthday:
1. Blood Pressure
According to the CDC, nearly one in three Americans suffers from high blood pressure, and about one in five of those afflicted are totally unaware that they have a problem. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, drastically increases your risk for a stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, and chronic heart failure.
The good news is that it’s a manageable condition, but symptoms of high blood pressure often don’t reveal themselves until it’s too late. Since you may not feel the symptoms until it’s too late, be proactive and get your blood pressure level checked regularly.
2. Cholesterol Levels
High LDL cholesterol (often called “bad” cholesterol) impedes the flow of blood through the arteries in your body, which can eventually lead to chest pain, stroke, or heart attack if not properly addressed.
High levels of this type of cholesterol usually result from an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, subsequent obesity, and high blood pressure — but not always. Family history can also be a contributing factor, meaning anyone could be at risk regardless of their lifestyle choices.
There are currently over 29 million adults in America with type II diabetes, and according to the CDC, about one in four don’t even know that they have it. It’s relatively easy to treat this type of diabetes with simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, but only if the disease is detected early and those changes are implemented quickly.
Diabetes left untreated will cause a wide range of problems, including nerve disease, limb disease, blindness, metabolic syndrome, kidney failure, and stroke. That means it’s one of the most important diseases to regularly check for.
4. Breast Cancer Check
Breast cancer should be a serious concern to everyone, especially when you consider that it’s estimated to affect nearly 12% of women at some point in their lifetimes, as Cancer.org explains. And while it can be scary and overwhelming, it’s important to remember that breast cancer is not a death sentence.
Most importantly, early detection is key when it comes successfully treating this disease. In fact, breast cancer detected in its first stage leads to a 100% survival rate, while the survival rate for fourth stage breast cancer plummets to 22%. When it comes to fighting back, regular testing is your best defense.
5. Prostate Cancer Check
This year, Cancer.org estimates that about 220,000 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. What’s more, it’s estimated that about 1 in 38 American men will die from the disease. That being said, patients with prostate cancer that’s caught before it has a chance to leave the prostate or the immediate vicinity of the body have a five-year survival rate of nearly 100%.
Once the cancer spreads, however, that rate drops to just 28%. As with breast cancer, getting checked early and regularly is your best defense.
Don’t Go It Alone
If you’re worried about the cost of regular testing, SingleCare may be able to help. Their extensive network of qualified doctors, specialists, and prescription services often save members up to 50% on healthcare costs.
There is no monthly premium or deductible, just the opportunity to pay less than you would out-of-pocket. Making sure you have access to all of the quality care and services you need is SingleCare’s number-one priority, so you can enjoy your next half-century as much as your first one.
(Main image credit: Wikimedia Commons)