Senior Housing Connection

Importance of Preventative Health Screenings

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time in which women are reminded of the importance of annual mammograms. It’s equally important, though, to make sure you’re getting other preventative health screenings as well. Being proactive about your health can help you find problems early, when your doctor can more easily treat them. Do you know which health screenings you need?

Make sure to always schedule an annual check-up. These annual wellness visits will check your blood pressure, pulse, height and weight, and often include bloodwork that can identify problems like diabetes, high cholesterol, and thyroid issues. This visit is a good time to talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have, ask questions, and talk about lifestyle choices and how you can improve your health. Your doctor may check your skin at this appointment, especially if you’re at high risk for skin cancer.

A colonoscopy is recommended by the National Institute for Health (NIH) for people aged 50 and older. This test screens for ulcers, polyps, tumors, inflammation, or bleeding in the large intestine. It allows doctors to find problems early on, significantly reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, and while performing the procedure, the doctor will collect abnormal tissue for biopsy and remove any small abnormal growths. The frequency of these screenings depends on a person’s family history and other risk factors.

Doctors recommend that men have prostate screenings starting between 40 and 50 years of age. These exams are important, because they help detect rectal tumors, prostate disorders, digestive disorders, and certain types of cancer early, when they’re most treatable. L

Women should have annual gynecological exams. These exams include a pelvic exam, to check the reproductive organs and identify abnormalities, a breast exam to look for early signs of breast cancer, and pap test to screen for cervical dysplasia or cancer.

The NIH recommends mammograms for women, starting around the age of 40. This low-radiation x-ray procedure is an important tool in the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. The frequency of mammograms depends on the woman’s risk and health history.

A bone density test screens for osteoporosis. This procedure uses x-rays to measure calcium and other bone minerals in a segment of bone, and is recommended by the NIH for men and women over the age of 65.

Everyone should have eye and dental exams, regardless of age. These are important in maintaining vision and oral health and include screenings for issues like eye cancer, glaucoma, cataracts, throat cancers, periodontal disease, and more.

At Parkwood Heights, we care about our residents’ health, which is why we have onsite doctor visits and laboratory services at our wellness center and offer scheduled medical transportation.We also offer Enriched Living for those who need some extra assistance. Our community is a lovely place in which to spend your retirement; participating in interesting activities or just relaxing with friends and family. A picturesque, 122-acre senior living campus, Parkwood Heights is located just minutes from Victor, Fairport, Farmington, and Canandaigua. Call (315) 986-9100 or (585) 223-7595 to learn more about all that we have to offer, or check out our website and reach out if you have any questions.