In the technological world we live in, it is possible to prevent and reduce diseases and infections in old age/ShutterStock
As we age, our body systems weaken and lose their efficiency.
Sometimes we see the signs of aging in a prominent way, such as the formation of white hair, the appearance of wrinkles on our face, the need for reading glasses, etc., and sometimes the changes are more hidden and concern the reduction of the efficiency of the various organs of the body such as the heart, lungs and liver, loss of elasticity of the blood vessels and decrease in the strength of the bones. These and other factors increase the chance of older people suffering from diseases and infections, compared to other age groups.
While increasing the risk of diseases and infections was considered a type of default among adults until only about 50 years ago, today in the technological world in which we live it is possible to prevent and reduce the diseases and infections in old age. The first step on the way there is understanding the importance of early detection of serious and chronic diseases, since preliminary treatment given only in the initial stage of the disease increases the cure percentages and the chances of recovery dozens of times.
Diabetes is considered one of the most complex chronic diseases/ShutterStock
What are the routine tests that are recommended to be performed every year or two at the age of 65 plus?
High blood pressure Hypertension
(values over 140/90) that is not treated for years, may lead to a wide range of health problems, some of which are life-threatening such as heart disease, stroke, damage to the quality of vision, damage to the kidneys and more.
Among the population whose age is 65 and over, the recommendation is to measure blood pressure every year or two.
Cholesterol and blood lipids
Similar to high blood pressure, a high level of cholesterol is also a health risk and can cause a number of life-threatening diseases, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, cerebrovascular accident (stroke) and more.
For those who were not diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia (having excess cholesterol in the blood) until the age of 65, it is recommended to continue to check the lipid profile every 5 years at least until the age of 75. Diabetes
is considered one of the most complex chronic diseases.
In the absence of treatment, patients risk heart disease, stroke, leg ulcers, vision impairment to the point of blindness, end-stage kidney disease, narrowing of the leg arteries, and in extreme cases, amputation, and more.
If you are 65-70 years old and overweight, it is recommended that you perform a blood test to detect diabetes every 3 years.
Those who have been diagnosed with the disease will be required to change their diet and exercise regularly.
Colon cancer is considered one of the deadliest cancers.
Colon cancer tumors are more common among the older population and in fact the vast majority of patients are over 60. For people without symptoms (with normal risk) aged 50-74, the recommendation is to perform screening tests for this cancer.
These tests include fecal occult blood samples or, alternatively, blood tests followed by a colonoscopy for those in whom cancerous cells have been detected.
Breast cancer (mammography)
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Israel and in the world, and one in eight is expected to get it during her lifetime.
Mammography (x-ray of the breast) is the best and most widely used test for the early diagnosis of breast cancer as it allows to discover small lumps that cannot be felt through palpation.
Early diagnosis is considered very significant in this cancer since in most cases when a woman receives the early treatment adapted to the characteristics of her disease, recovery is expected to be complete.
Women aged 50-74 are recommended to have a mammogram every two years.
Lung cancer is considered one of the deadliest types of cancer because of the difficulty in detecting the disease at an early stage since it is an internal organ.
In general, lung cancer is more characteristic of older patients over the age of 70, and naturally smoking is the main risk factor, but at the same time 20 percent of patients do not smoke.
In order to diagnose lung cancer as early as possible, it is recommended to perform a CT scan with a low radiation dose every year, and this among adults aged 50-80 with a smoking history of 20 pack years (active smokers as well as those who have stopped smoking in the last 15 years).
Osteoporosis (calcium leakage) is a disease in which the bones lose their density and tend to break more easily compared to healthy bones.
Adults are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, and among these it can be found mainly in women of menopause and in men aged 70 years and older.
The diagnosis is made through a bone density test and it is recommended to do the test once every five years starting at the age of 65 and for men.
According to the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, it is recommended that women aged 25-65 perform a cervical surface examination for early detection and prevention of cervical cancer.
The test is included in the medicine basket and women aged 55-65 are recommended to have a test once every five years.
Also, women over the age of 65, who have not had an examination in the last 10 years, are entitled to have one examination.
In light of today's medical development, it is possible and definitely recommended to perform the tests and maintain a high quality of life even in the third age/ShutterStock
Non-melanoma skin cancer
Non-melanoma skin cancer is very common among adults who have been exposed to the sun during their lifetime, and it usually appears as a kind of skin lesion, visible as a wound a few millimeters in size.
Early detection of the disease is considered relatively simple, mainly in light of the fact that the lesion can be seen on the skin.
Early diagnosis of this cancer in combination with advanced treatment methods results in curing the disease easily.
In conclusion, there is great importance in early diagnosis to detect diseases and infections and in many cases this will prevent much future suffering and even save lives.
In light of today's medical development, it is possible and definitely recommended to perform the tests and maintain a high quality of life even in the third age.
It is advisable to contact the family doctor at the checkout for consultation and receiving referrals for these tests and scheduling them ahead of time.
Would you like to receive a comprehensive overview of the medical rights and benefits that are due to seniors?
You can get all the relevant information on the website of the Ministry of Health.
Did you request but were not approved for a preliminary inspection through the cash register?
You can get an answer from the Patient Rights Association, right here
In collaboration with the Patient Rights Association
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