Proactively taking care of your health is important if you want to live a long life. Maintaining a healthy diet and doing regular exercise can help your body be healthy and fight off any possible illnesses. Unfortunately, that’s not all there is to staying healthy. There are many diseases that are caused by pre-existing genetic factors, or by environmental factors outside of your control. One of the most infamous of these diseases is the big C—cancer. Many people are at risk of cancer, no matter how hard they try to be healthy.
Cancer refers to the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in a body. When cancer cells are inside your body, they ignore signals that tell them to stop dividing, spread to different parts of the body, and damage tissues and organs.
Cancer has never been a friend to anyone, and no one deserves to have it. Getting cancer can be unanticipated, so you should prepare for what may come. Luckily, these days you can get your healthcare provider to give you a risk assessment for cancer, which will allow you to get cancer screenings so that you can be prepared just in case.
If you think that you should just handle being a cancer patient when it comes, then you’re wrong. Listed below are the importance of why you should get regular cancer screenings done as you age:
Helps You to Prepare
Sometimes, people actually prefer to live in ignorance of whether they have cancer or not. Ignoring the fact that you may have cancer won’t slow down the process, but it could put your life at greater risk. Yes, screening for cancer can be quite scary, but you need to be screened for cancer, especially if your family has a history of it. With cancer screening, you’ll be able to determine if you’re positive for cancer and which stage you’re currently on to help you proceed with proper treatment, or help you determine if you are pre-cancerous and head off the problem before it can develop.
Lowers Risk of Dying from Cancer
With cancer screenings, your doctor will be able to see any anomalies in your body that could be an early sign of cancer. With that, they can also detect any early stage of cancers which are easier to treat, making you cancer-free faster compared to later stages.
It’s understandable for you to get scared of knowing if your life is at risk. While it can be scary, it’s always a smart move to know beforehand to prepare for any treatments in helping you get better faster as much as possible.
If you’re interested in having yourself screened for any possibilities of cancer, listed below are the things that you could get tested for as you age:
Colon Cancer Testing
Starting at age 45, people are more at risk of developing colon cancer, making it the best time to be checked. If you’re younger than 45, there’s no need to go for cancer screening unless you have a strong family history, genetic disorders, or other risk factors.
Colon cancer symptoms include continuous change in your bowel movements, rectal bleeding or blood in your stool, and abdominal pain or discomfort. If you believe that you have a risk of developing colon cancer, consult your doctor.
Prostate Cancer Testing
Starting at age 45, men are more at risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who have a close relative who had prostate cancer have a higher risk of developing one and should be tested sooner.
Prostate cancer symptoms include difficulty with urinating, blood in urine or semen, decreased stream force of the urine, and erectile dysfunction.
Breast Cancer Testing
At age 40, women can choose to start having their yearly mammogram to check for any anomalies with their breasts. When a woman has reached 45, she should definitely start having her annual mammogram.
Breast cancer symptoms include pain in the breast area, thickening or swelling to a certain part of the breast, and a new lump in the breast or armpit. Breast cancer is most common in women, but men can have it, too. So, if you suspect that something’s wrong with your breast, you should consult with your doctor immediately for further diagnosis.
Cervical Cancer Testing
At age 21, you can start getting pap smear tests for cervical cancer. However, if you become sexually active before then, you should get a pap smear. If your results come back normal, your doctor might advise you to wait for another three years to have another pap smear. Even if you’re not sexually active, regular pap smears are necessary as not every cause of cervical cancer comes from human papillomavirus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted. If you’re over 65, doctors recommend that you stop taking pap smears if your recent results are normal.
Cervical cancer symptoms include vaginal bleeding after intercourse, vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause, watery and bloody vaginal discharge that has an intense foul odor, pelvic pain, and pain during intercourse. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, you should consult your gynecologist.
How to Stay Healthy
As you get older, it’s only a smart to try to stay healthy as much as possible, not only so that you can live a long life, but so that you can actually enjoy living it. Listed below are the small ways on how you can stay healthy:
- Eat healthy foods
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid smoking
- Don’t consume alcohol
- Get enough sleep
Above all this, it’s important that you schedule cancer screening tests to be sure that you’re free from any cancer cells that can put your life at risk. It’s a must to have yourself checked if it runs in your family. It’s best to know if you’re at risk as early as possible.
The thought of having cancer can genuinely be scary, but if it’s already there, you just have to accept the fact and do what you can to manage and treat it. The key to easier and more effective treatments is early detection. The earlier you know that you’ve developed cancer, the easier it is to treat it.
Given that you might be frightened of the idea of having cancer, if it doesn’t run in your family then you don’t need to get tested at a young age. When you reached a certain age by which it is more common to start developing cancer, it’s best to be checked just to be sure.