There’s more to retirement than travel, relaxation, and enjoying more time with family and friends. It’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure there’s plenty of time to enjoy those retirement years.
One of the first things necessary to do when living a healthy lifestyle is knowing more about your own health. For older people particularly, taking time to complete the appropriate health screenings will provide a clear foundation of what they should know about their current health status. Taking time to undergo the right screening is particularly important for those at retirement age who are at high-risk for lung cancer.
People ages 55 to 77 who have at least a 30-year-pack history of smoking (calculated by the number of cigarettes smoked each day over a number of years) are at the top of the list of the high-risk population for lung cancer. That’s true even for those who may have kicked the habit 10 to 15 years earlier.
While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, it’s not the only thing that can cause it. There’s also mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the linings around the lungs and adjacent organs. Many older people don’t even realize they have it because cancer – known as the silent, slow killer – may not show symptoms until anywhere from 25 to 40 years after exposure. Go here to learn more about the cause, symptoms, and treatments for mesothelioma.
Most lung cancer tests and screenings are readily available, and most are covered under Medicare and many private insurance plans. Check the details of your insurance plan to find out what’s covered and what you can expect to pay.
Screening also has become more sophisticated, including some tests now conducted through artificial intelligence. The hope is that these tests could help doctors more quickly and accurately detect lung cancer, according to the New York Times.
Screening for lung cancer is so important because early detection helps identify the problem and presents an opportunity for treatment. Once detected, a patient increases their chances of successful treatment and lives longer than if they did nothing at all.
And treatments for some lung cancers have improved in recent years. National Cancer Institute researchers found that deaths from non-small cell lung cancer decreased annually from 2006 to 2014, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The discovery led researchers to believe recently approved treatments may explain the declining death rates, according to USA Today.
Living a healthy lifestyle in retirement means taking control of your health. Once you know what health issues you face, you can take charge and ensure a longer, happier time with loved ones during those magical retirement years.