Getting preventive care is one of the most important steps you can take to manage your health. As men and women age, their health concerns are likely to change as well. This information is designed to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, promote physical activities and to improve overall wellness. Choosing to make good basic health choices, women and men can boost their overall health and well-being.
Some of these positive choices include:
• Eat a healthy diet
• Get regular exercise
• Don’t use tobacco
• Limit alcohol use
• Strive for a healthy weight
- What is a Wellness Exam?
Well exams are the foundation for wellness, health promotion and disease identification and management throughout your life. It is no secret that healthy living and early detection of disease increases not only your length of life but, more importantly, your quality of living. A periodic well exam for all ages is not just about good medical care, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about beneficial health habits, counseling and community support services as well as an overall view of the best ways to take care of yourself and your family for a lifetime.
- Heart Disease
If you’re like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for other folks. But heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability. There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called Coronary Artery Disease and happens slowly over time. It’s the major reason people have heart attacks.
You can help reduce your risk of heart disease by taking steps to control factors that put you at greater risk:
- Preconception Health and Pregnancy
What is preconception health?
Preconception Health is a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. It focuses on the conditions and risk factors that could affect a woman if she becomes pregnant. Preconception health applies to women who have never been pregnant, and also to women who could become pregnant again. Preconception health looks at factors that can affect a fetus or infant. These include factors such as taking prescription drugs or drinking alcohol. The key to promoting preconception health is to combine the best medical care, healthy behaviors, strong support, and safe environments at home and at work.
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What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too. Most breast lumps are not cancerous; that is, they are benign. These lumps should still be examined to confirm that they do not have cancer.
Why should I be screened for breast cancer?
Thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and too many women die from the disease. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Michigan. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Michigan women. Screening means checking your body for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. The routine performance of screening tests may find many kinds of cancer early, when treatment is likely to work best.
What screening tests are available?
Early detection of breast cancer is the key to survival. Mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage—an average of 1–3 years before a woman can feel the lump. Mammography, the most common method of breast cancer screening locates cancers too small to be felt during a routine breast examination.
How often should I have a mammogram?
All women between the ages of 40-69 should receive a mammogram every one to two years, unless they have had a mastectomy. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer should talk with a doctor about the best early detection plan for them. Risk factors are something that may affect your chance of getting cancer: sex, age, race, or family histories are examples. This might mean starting mammograms when you younger, having extra screening tests, or having more frequent exams.
To find out more about breast cancer and mammography screening, visit the following websites:
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is cancer in the cervix, the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows during a woman’s pregnancy. The cervix forms a canal that opens into the vagina (birth canal), which leads to the outside of the body.
What causes cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is caused by several types of a virus called Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV). The virus spreads through sexual contact. Most of the time, a woman’s body is able to fight HPV infection; sometimes the virus leads to cancer. Being a smoker, have many children, using birth control pills for a long time and having first sexual intercourse at a young age, puts you at higher risk for cervical cancer. Generally, cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms in the beginning; some women may experience pelvic pain or bleeding in the vagina. It takes several years for the cervical cancer to develop; however, the chance of recovery is better when the cancer is found early.
What screening tests are available?
There are several tests to find and diagnose cervical cancer. Your doctor can detect abnormal cells that may turn into cancer cells by performing a Pap test (Pap smear) and pelvic exam or referring you for other tests. These abnormal cells can be treated before they turn into cancer.
How often should I have a Pap test?
It is recommended that all women between the ages of 18 and 65 who are sexually active have a
Pap Test at least every three years. Women who are at increased risk may need to be tested more often.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal Cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. Colorectal Cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer in the U.S. If everyone age 50 or older had regular screening tests, at least one third of the deaths from this cancer could be avoided. Both men and women can get colorectal cancer.
What causes colorectal cancer?
The exact causes of colorectal cancer are not known. However, studies show that certain factors increase a person’s chance of developing colorectal cancer. Examples of risk factors include age, personal history, family history, diets and exercise.
What screening tests are available?
Screening for Colorectal Cancer can save your life. Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps (growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early. When it is found early, the change of being cured is good.
For more information, please visit the following website:
The prostate is the gland below a man’s bladder that produces fluid for semen. Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages. It is rare in men younger than 40.
Levels of a substance called prostate specific antigen (PSA) is often high in men with prostate cancer. However, PSA can also be high with other prostate conditions. Since the PSA test became common, most prostate cancers are found before they cause symptoms. Symptoms of prostate cancer may include
• Problems passing urine, such as pain, difficulty starting or stopping the stream, or dribbling
• Low back pain
• Pain with ejaculation
Prostate Cancer treatment often depends on the stage of the cancer. How fast the cancer grows and how different it is from surrounding tissue helps determine the stage. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or control of hormones that affect the cancer.
Prostate Cancer Conditions
The prostate is a gland. It helps make semen, the fluid that contains sperm. The prostate surrounds the tube that carries urine away from the bladder and out of the body. A young man’s prostate is about the size of a walnut. It slowly grows larger with age. If it gets too large, it can cause problems. This is very common after age 50. The older men get, the more likely they are to have prostate trouble.
Some common problems are:
• Prostatitis – an infection, usually caused by bacteria
• Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH – an enlarged prostate, which may cause dribbling after urination
or a need to go often, especially at night
• Prostate Cancer – a common cancer that responds best to treatment when detected early
- Sexually Transmitted Infections
What are sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can get from having sex with someone who has the infection.
What causes sexually transmitted infections?
The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasites and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including:
How do you get an STI?
You can get an STI by having intimate sexual contact with someone who already has the infection. You can’t tell if a person is infected because many STIs have no symptoms. But STIs can still be passed from person to person even if there are no symptoms. STIs are spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex or during genital touching. So it’s possible to get some STIs without having intercourse. Not all STIs are spread the same way.
For information about these and other sexually transmitted infections, please visit the following website:
What are immunizations?
Immunizations are just as important for adults as they are for children. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control state that the need for immunization remains just as strong as when we were children. Vaccine (immunizations) recommendations for adults are based on a variety of factors, including age, overall health status and medical history. Immunizations protect you from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Why do I need to be immunized as an adult?
Childhood immunizations do not protect you for the rest of your life. As adults, we must continue to maintain our own health because we are also affecting the health of our families. Talk to your doctor about vaccines that you may need before and after a pregnancy, including the flu and pneumonia vaccines.
Where can I get the immunizations I need?
Contact your primary care doctor. He or she will determine the vaccines you need.
For more information about immunizations schedules, please visit the following website:
- Additional Resources