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HEALTHWATCH: Recommended medical tests come with age

Updated: Wednesday, September 11 2013, 05:49 PM CDT
ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Once men and women hit a certain age they are urged to have routine test taken.

Early detection is key mammogram, colonoscopy, and prostate exam can revel many hidden dangers.
   
What age and how often these test are needed
Dr. Kelli Gahagan is a Family Practitioner, she see several patients a day.

"They get to know you and your family history and see your progression through life medically as well and therefore make better recommendations for you and what's best," said Dr. Gahagan.

She says with chronic diseases like Cancer early detection is key.
Just this past week the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist suggested women should now have their first mammogram at the age of 40 instead of 50.

"We could actually add years to peoples lives by checking early and identifying things early so you can get early treatment," said Gahagan.
   
Mammogram testing is something, 51 year old Cindy Adams, takes seriously.
Her mother Peggy was diagnosed with Breast Cancer a few years ago. Peggy passed away in December, but not from Breast Cancer.
   
Cindy decided to immediately get tested. A lump was discovered during the exam.
"I was really nerved up about it, so when I had it done it was a big relief it wasn't Cancer, but it is really important that women have it done especially over the age of 30," said Adams.
   
At the age of 50 it's suggested men need to get their prostate examined. Especially if their is a family history.
Prostate Cancer is more common in African American men
   
But, Dr. Gahagan says the blood test involved could lead to unnecessary exams.
"Mainly to biopsies of the prostate that can cause pain, bleeding, infection, and it wasn't necessarily worth while in the detection of the more aggressive type of cancer's," said Gahagan.

By the age of 50 both men and women should have a colonoscopy performed.
Some people can be nervous or freighted by the test.
   
So there is another option, fecal occult blood testing, but it can prove to more difficult on the patient..
They have to collect three separate samples of their own stool per year for testing.
   
"There is also criteria they can't eat  certain things three days before hand and have to be off of certain medications for seven days before hand," said Gahagan.

"Even with a colonoscopy you're asleep anyway when you wake up it's all over with you just have a good rest after that," said Lucille Smith
   
Dr. Gahagn also suggests yearly physicals with your  doctor. The physical can also catch problems in the early stages.
For more on this story or for other Health related news just head over to our website weartv.com and click on the Health tab.
     

HEALTHWATCH: Recommended medical tests come with age


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