Health for the Ages
I hope this summer note finds you re-discovering aspects of your lives that bring you joy and pleasure.
It is now also a good opportunity to re-orient ourselves to our routine general health. The interruption in day to day health related encounters had been previously somewhat disrupted, no doubt.
OFFICE INFORMATION for PATIENTS
I will be out of the office between 9/10/23 and 9/28/23 for R & R (rest and recuperation).
You are asked to contact the office at 561-368-0191 for all your routine and urgent needs during that period. Make sure to contact me prior to those dates so I can accommodate your needs.
The office staff can assist you with basic questions and refills. My Board Certified associate will be available for all medical needs. I cannot assure you that any phone calls, texts or emails will be received by me in my absence and do not want you to miss an opportunity to be cared for.
Please contact the office prior to that time period for a follow up visit or other concerns that I may assist with while present.
Back to Health
Maintaining good health is an asset for all of us. Re-visiting the beneficial aspects of prevention and early detection of disease never gets old. We all at some time, have found “an ounce of prevention” to be truly “worth a pound of cure”, as Benjamin Franklin first expressed.
Some of the tools and indications for screening for early disease have changed in the recent years. The approach, and the different age groups have been reassessed based on clinical medical study.
The American Cancer Society’s most recent advice is as follows. All your medical history should be reviewed by your doctor as to how it specifically relates to you.
Colon Cancer: If you have no family history of colon cancer, colon polyps, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease (ie average risk), screening should begin at 45 years of age. If you do have these risk factors, or symptoms, you should see a doctor and may need colonoscopy even if you are less than 45 years of age. Ask your doctor to review your specific history.
Breast Cancer: The average risk person would have no family history of breast, ovarian, pancreatic or metastatic prostate cancer. In this group, routine self-examination and routine doctor visits would advise yearly mammograms starting at 40 years of age.
Other risk factors for breast cancer are an early menstrual cycle, a late menopause, first child after 35 years of age, no children, and post-menopausal obesity.
Cervical Cancer: Exams should start at 25 years of age. Between the ages of 25-65 years a Pap test, including human papilloma virus (HPV) testing every 3-5 years, is recommended. The virus is the causative factor in over 90% of sufferers. HPV vaccination can protect against it and is administered beginning at 11-12 years of age. It can also be given to both men and women up to age 26 and in some cases up to age 45. You must discuss your personal situation with your doctor.
Prostate Cancer: Starting at 50 years of age men should start screening by getting a prostate specific antigen blood test (PSA) and the physical exam. If prostate cancer began earlier than age 50 in close relatives, men should get screened earlier. Discuss this with your treating doctor.
Lung Cancer: Yearly CT scanning of the chest is recommended for all adults aged 50-80 who currently smoke, or have a smoking history of 20 years, as well as those who have quit within the last 15 years. That screening may be discontinued after a disease free period of 15 years. Periodic follow up may be indicated in some people.
Have you heard this?
“Hearing loss accounts for 8% of global dementia cases, rendering it the most modifiable risk factor for dementia at a population level”. Recent studies at Johns Hopkins, as well in the journal Lancet on additional studies done at the University of London and the University of Cambridge, have shown “moderate to severe hearing loss was associated with a higher presence of dementia compared to normal hearing”…”Hearing aid use was associated with lower dementia prevalence.”
Individuals generally wait between 7-10 years before coming to the realization that their hearing is not the best, before getting tested. A visit to the Ear Nose and Throat doctor to assess for disease and get a screening hearing test should be the first stop. Seeing a certified Audiologist would be helpful in getting specifics on possible further testing and in assistance in choosing the hearing aid that best suits your abilities and lifestyle.
The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, and Medicare, support of these initiatives has increased the ability to obtain access to a hearing aids and better hearing. You should research the hearing aid companies for what best suits you.
Fall Vaccine Update
Influenza Vaccine: From late September through November is the best time to get vaccinated. Call the office and set up your appointment. Supplies are limited.
Pneumonia Vaccine: Many people over age 65 have received vaccination for pneumonia. The most prevalent one is the PneumoVac 23. In recent years other pneumonia vaccines have been given at drug and grocery stores. The most prevalent of that is Prevnar 13.
You should have your Florida Shots Immunization Record reviewed to assure you are up to date on this basic vaccination.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccine: Due to increased reactivity of this respiratory infection, yearly vaccination is now being offered to adults age 60 and older. It is available through drug stores and super markets. October and November are the best times to get it, as the infection is prevalent in the winter.
Access https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/prevention.html for more information.
COVID variant vaccinations: A vaccine to cover the one, most currently prevalent variant of the original recent COVID strain, should be available sometime in October or November.
This all being said, we must all keep our eye on the ball for good health. If you haven’t been seen in more than six months you should schedule a time for a visit. Telehealth visits can be utilized to review your need for updating your basic health history. It is like the Zocor commercial, some time ago, where the pro football coach spoke of his experiences in keeping his cholesterol low, and finished by staying…
“It’s your future, be there”.
Wishing You Good Health & Well Being,