Cancer: Risk Increases with Age
Mental Illnesses Related to Ageing
Factors that contribute to the social isolation of seniors
Prevention: Medical Follow-up From Age 50
Regular and early screening after age 50 can save your life! The following are the assessments recommended by most health professionals.
To detect type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 40% of kidney failure and 50% of non-traumatic amputations. It is also the leading cause of visual impairment in adults under the age of 65.
According to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, a lipid profile should be done every 3 to 5 years for men and women aged 40 to 75. However, people with known cardiovascular disease or high risk factors should do this annually, and diabetics should do this every 1 to 3 years.
Colorectal Cancer Screening Test
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality. This cancer generally develops slowly, but when the first symptoms appear, the disease is already advanced. This is why screening is important.
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology recommends a fecal blood test every two years for people 50 to 75 who do not have any risk factors (age, family history, presence of polyps on the inner wall of the colon or rectum, inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol).
It is also interesting to note that the American Cancer Society recently (May 2018) lowered the recommended age to start colorectal cancer screening to 45. Among the tests suggested is an annual fecal occult blood test.
Coloscopy and rectosigmoidoscopy are not indicated for front-line screening, unless the fecal blood test is positive or the risk factors are significant. In the presence of polyps or family history of colorectal cancer, sigmoidoscopy is generally recommended every 5 years and colonoscopy every 10 years. A polyp is not a cancerous tumour, but it can indicate a predisposition to cancer.
To discover breast cancer (the most common cancer in women) before you can even palpate a mass.
The Quebec Breast Screening Program (PQDCS) recommends women aged 50 to 69 be screened every 2 years unless they present a risk. If suspicious lesions are detected on a mammogram, the physician will follow up with an ultrasound and, if necessary, a biopsy. For women over the age of 70, a screening mammogram is only given if deemed appropriate by the physician.
Prostate Cancer Screening Test
The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test measures the amount of PSA in the blood and detects prostate cancer. APS is a protein made by prostate cells found mainly in sperm, but it can also be detected in small amounts in the blood of healthy men.
PSA tests are not routinely offered to all men. Rather, they are done on an individual basis among men aged 55 to 70, after consultation with a physician. Only those most at risk, due to their family history of prostate cancer or African-American origin, are given regular testing.
To identify osteoporosis and prevent fractures.
Osteoporosis is responsible for over 80% of fractures in people over the age of 50, including hip fractures, which often result in a significant loss of independence. Bone mass loss is asymptomatic. Osteopodensitometry is an X-ray of the hips and lumbar spine (lower back) that measures bone mineral density.
The Osteoporosis Society of Canada recommends osteoporosis risk factors (e.g., early menopause, fragility fracture, family history of osteoporotic fractures, corticosteroid use, smoking, hyperthyroidism) be assessed beginning at age 50. If the risk is high, your doctor will prescribe an osteopodensitometry. If not, an osteopodensitometry is recommended starting at age 65 every 2 to 3 years.
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