Health Screening for 50 and Above

For those that are 50 years and above there are three separate areas you should consider when it comes to health screening.

1. Ongoing monitoring: People over 50 should have screening or monitoring for High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Cancer screenings, including skin examinations as well assessments for weight control, exercising, and of course screens for cancer such as pap and pelvic exams and mammograms. Dr. John Collins believes that everyone should establish themselves with a Primary Care Physician. Your doctor is your tour guide for ensuring that you are at a maximal level of health, or are moving in that direction. Develop a plan to find your maximal health.

2. Milestone Testing: The major tests include Colonoscopy, to detect and potentially cure colon and rectal cancers, and well as a Cardiovascular Evaluation. This might include treadmill or other heart stress test for men, and likely include a stress test and an echocardiogram at the same time for women. Women are very different from men in the way that we must be suspicious for heart attacks. And, in the way we evaluate them for heart disease risk.

3. Vaccinations: The Flu shot is certainly a "shot" those of us 50 and over should obtain. There is a new pneumonia shot that is approved for those 50 years and older. It covers 13 different strains of pneumonia, where the previous shot covered 7. A large number of cases over the last several years have be strains that this new shot covers. So, this is a great moment in our ability to prevent pneumonia. Many of the "shots" we discuss cannot be recommended for just anyone, but of course should be discussed with your physician. The vaccine for shingles can prevent outbreaks of shingles about 2/3 of the time. Many of us 50 and older had the chicken pox as children. That virus stays with us into adulthood, and at times of stress can come out as a painful, ugly burning rash. In some cases, even when the rash goes away, the pain can stay with us.

Dr. John Collins, D.O.

Complete Family Medicine

1611 S. Baltimore

Kirksville, MO. 63501