Thursday, 30 November 2017

4 essential health tests

When we're adults we become responsible for our own health, how many of us have these “essential” health tests?


Heart disease can strike young people, both male and female, and one of the most effective ways of preventing a heart attack is by having regular cholesterol tests. Experts advise that people over the age of 20 should have their blood cholesterol level tested every five years, and those with any risk factors, men over 35 and women over 45, be tested annually.

The good news is that a change in lifestyle is all it takes to put things right. For example: cutting out cigarettes completely, cutting down on alcohol, eating properly and exercising around three times a week.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can affect you later in life in comparison to Type 1 diabetes, which you’re either born with, or which generally starts in early childhood. Type 2 diabetes is labeled as a lifestyle disease because it is often the result of being overweight and not getting enough exercise. It means that your body cannot use insulin properly and a simple blood sugar level test will initially determine whether someone has this disease.

Why is this called a “lifestyle” disease? The cause of Type 2 diabetes is bad eating habits, carrying too much weight and a lack of exercise – which if coupled with smoking and drinking, can have disastrous results. The good news is that if it’s detected early enough and patients listen to their doctors and manage the illness, they can lead fairly normal lives, even reversing the condition in some cases.

Breast cancer
How many of us do regular self-examinations to check our breasts for lumps? If you find even the smallest lump you should see your doctor immediately, but because breast cancer can take years to develop and there are no symptoms early on, experts feel that women should have a screening mammogram every year once they’re over 40. Research says that there are between 17 and 44 per cent fewer deaths from breast cancer among women in their forties who’ve had a mammogram. Find out a bit more about breast cancer.

Prostate cancer

Whereas breast cancer can affect both men and women, prostate cancer can only affect men, as it affects the prostate gland, which only men have. With statistics such as one in eight men between the ages of 60 and 80 years suffering from the disease, regular tests when you're over 50 are essential. An initial blood test will show if there’s a family history and your first test should be at 40 years. An early diagnosis here literally saves lives, as this is one of the most curable forms of cancer.

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