Healthy Living: Health Screenings in Your 60s: June 12, 2011

It’s never too late to start taking care of yourself, and it’s a mistake to think that once you’ve hit your 60s you have to accept failing health.

Life in your 60s is typically marked by retirement, but during this milestone decade it’s important to work on your health.

“What we try to tell people is around the time of your birthday go in for your wellness exam at that point. So you remember to get it done,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina Vice President of Lee Memorial Health System’s Wellness Centers.

As you hit those golden years, it’s possible that some health conditions are just starting to appear. Catching them gives you a better chance of managing them.

Your 60s are a good time to get serious about heart health says Dr. Lacagnina.

“Cardiovascular disease is the most common disease that people die from in this country. So you want to maintain a very high suspicion that people may have underlying cardiovascular disease”

Women in their 60s should have a bone density test to check for osteoporosis.

and should also keep up with mammograms. The chance of getting breast cancer between the age of 60 and 69 is 1 in 26.

Men in their 60s should continue screening for prostate cancer.

“A PSA is a simple blood test that can be done and it helps to give more information about the risk for prostate cancer,” Dr. Lacagnina says.

Both men and women should have a colonoscopy done every 10 years to look for colon cancer. And everyone should have a skin exam. While the majority of skin exposure occurs before age 18, skin cancers can take 20 years or more to develop.

You should also keep tabs on your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Keeping yourself healthy should help you enjoy your retirement years.