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Adults, 40 to 64
Although women aged 40 to 64 are less likely to give birth, this age group must still contend with medical issues specifically related to their reproductive system. Additionally, conditions like hypertension, osteoporosis, and colon cancer should also be addressed during this time of a woman's life. Women between the ages of 40 and 64.
Breast exam: Women over the age of 50 who are not considered high-risk for breast cancer may begin to receive mammograms every two years.
Colorectal screening: Women between the ages of 50 and 75 should begin receiving colorectal exams. A thorough colorectal screening regimen may involve the following components:
Individuals who display certain risk factors ― such as a family history of colorectal cancer, or a personal history with conditions like ulcerative colitis and/or colorectal adenomas ― may consider receiving a colorectal screening more frequently.
Osteoporosis: This disease (which is much more common in women than men) causes bones to deteriorate and become brittle. According to MedLine, half of all women over the age of 50 will suffer a fractured hip, wrist, spine, or other bone injury due to osteoporosis during their lifetime. Women 50 and older are encouraged to seek a bone mineral density test, a painless exam often conducted using an x-ray, if they are at high-risk of osteoporosis (due to family history or a previous injury).
Hysterectomy: A partial hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman's uterus and ovaries; full and radical hysterectomies also involve removal of the cervix. In the United States, one in three women will receive a hysterectomy by the time they turn 60. The procedure can be an effective way to prevent ovarian cancer (as well as cervical cancer, depending on the nature of the hysterectomy). Women who receive a full or radical hysterectomy may not be required to undergo Pap smears any longer; those who receive a partial hysterectomy may be able to undergo a Pap smear every five years.
Vaccines: After the age of 60, women may choose to receive an immunization for shingles, a skin disease linked to chicken pox that is also known as herpes zoster.
As men reach middle age, they become more susceptible to certain medical issues. With preventive care, males between the ages of 40 and 64 can mitigate against risks associated with the following health concerns:
Colorectal screening: Beginning at age 50, men should begin screening for colorectal cancer by seeking out the following procedures:
- A stool guaiac test every year
- A sigmoidoscopy every five years
- A colonoscopy every 10 years
- A barium enema every five years
- A "virtual colonoscopy" every five years
- Men who are considered high-risk for colon cancer, due to family history or pre-existing conditions, may want to receive colorectal screenings more often.
Prostate exam: Some men are considered high-risk for prostate cancer (such as African-Americans or those with a family history); these individuals may want to consider receiving prostate exams at an earlier age. But most men who are not high-risk can wait until the age of 50 to receive prostate cancer screenings (which typically involve a quick rectal exam).
Osteoporosis: Men between the ages of 50 and 70 who are at high-risk of developing osteoporosis (usually due to family history or a previous injury) should discuss the possibility of receiving bone mineral density tests with their physician.
Vaccines: Beginning at the age of 60, men may choose to start receiving the vaccination for shingles, a skin disease linked to chicken pox that is also known as herpes zoster.