Even if you feel fine, it is better to check in with your healthcare provider if you are past the age of fifty. Medical tests can help screen for disease, and assess your risk for future medical issues. Moreover, these tests encourage a healthier lifestyle and life choices.
If you are hitting close to this age mark, then read on to find what medical tests you should go for:
Blood pressure screening:
Get your blood pressure checked by a doctor at least once a year if you have no previous history of disease, and more frequently if you have history of medical issues like diabetes. Ideally, the blood pressure should be between 120-139mm Hg systolic, and 80-89 mmHg diastolic. Any higher, and you might need medication or lifestyle modification to combat it.
High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, therefore, get your cholesterol profile up to date after the age of fifty. In our population, heart diseases and high cholesterol are quite common. Thus, if you fall in this category, you might need medication like statins to decrease the bad cholesterol in the body.
Untreated diabetes can wreak havoc in the body. It is a disease that affects multiple organs, and therefore screening for it is necessary. Get a fasting blood sugar test every three years (or more if you have a history of disease in family) so that you can incorporate lifestyle changes early on to combat disease.
Pelvic exam and pap smear:
For women, yearly pelvic exams and pap smears can help in early detection of diseases like cervical cancer. Pap test can be combined with HPV test, to extend the interval between screenings, however, for women between ages 30-65, this test is a must.
Routine mammograms should be done by this age for women. Mammograms are helpful in detecting early signs of breast cancer, and with the high prevalence of breast cancer in Pakistan, this test should be performed regularly. If you have a family history of breast cancer, then you should talk with your doctor about how often to get screened.
Between the ages of 50-70 there is increased risk of osteoporosis, thus screening for osteoporosis is important. Factors such as long term steroid use, smoking, family history increase the risk of osteoporosis, and these should be assessed by the healthcare provider when screening for disease.
Lung cancer screening in smokers:
For people who have 30 pack-year smoking history (e.g. smoking one pack per day for 30 years), should get screened for lung cancer, with low-dose CT. Even current smokers, and those who have quit should get screened.
Regular eye exams for diseases such as cataract should be done after the age of fifty, every two to four years. For diseases like glaucoma, or other visual problems even more frequent exams are recommended.
If you want to get yourself or your family member screened for diseases then book an appointment with a top general physician in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.