Most deaths from cervical cancer can be prevented if women get regular Pap tests and follow-up care. The Everett Clinic encourages:
- Women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21
- Parents to make sure pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
Teens and young adults also need to get the HPV vaccine if they didn’t get it as pre-teens. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can still get the vaccine.
For some people, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to prevent heart attack or stroke. In these cases, taking a statin medication at the right dose will likely be necessary.
During your risk assessment, a lipid or blood cholesterol panel may be part of your evaluation. This blood test measures the amount of fatty substances (lipids) in your blood. This information will help determine if you are at high enough risk of a heart attack or stroke to need treatment. Your provider will also want to know:
- Whether you have had a heart attack, stroke or blockages in your heart, neck or the arteries in your legs.
- Your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, your age, if you have diabetes, and whether you smoke and/or have high blood pressure, or low HDL (so-called “good”) cholesterol.
- Your lifestyle habits, other medical conditions, any previous drug treatments, and if anyone in your family has high cholesterol or suffered a heart attack or stroke at an early age.
Short periods of moderate exercise throughout the week can yield big rewards for your health and fitness. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your exercise routine.
A good goal is to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. If you want to lose weight or increase your fitness level, you may need to exercise more or at a higher intensity. Here are some strategies for developing an exercise plan that you can stick with (and enjoy!):
- Choose activities you enjoy. There are many options, including swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and yoga.
- Be active throughout your day. Take the stairs. Try standing, stretching or walking for 5-10 minutes every hour while at work or sitting at home. Include a 10-15 minute walk in your lunch hour.
- Exercise with a friend. Exercising can be a fun way to spend time together.
- Pick the right time. Find the times that work best for you and add exercise to your calendar as a scheduled appointment.
- Set small, obtainable goals. Add a few more minutes of exercise each day, or increase the number of days of exercise per week.
- Reward yourself for your successes. Plan a fun event as a reward for sticking to your plan.
- Try an activity monitor. Activity monitors can be good motivators to move more.
SilverSneakers is a program that offers free health club memberships to seniors who are enrolled in some Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans. For more information about SilverSneakers, and to find locations near you, go to silversneakers.com.