Here are eight health tips for ’08 from the docs at Westchester Health, a group of 60 physicians and specialists in Thornwood. Doctors in different areas picked out the most important pieces of advice they give their patients. And, here they are:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the next best thing to the fountain of youth. Elderly patients, who exercise regularly, are by far, healthier than my sedentary patients. Regular exercise is a key to a long healthy life. Low intensity exercise, such as walking 3 or 4 times a week works well, just as well or better, than more intense exercise.Ã¢â‚¬?
After a heart attack, your doctor may recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehab is a structured program consisting of supervised exercise, education, and support for heart patients. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been proven to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease and to lower risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can also control symptoms, lower the need for medications and improve the quality of life for heart patients. It can even help patients to return to normal activities more quickly.
#2 Get a flu shot
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Most people just get sick when they get the flu. Elderly and cardiac patients are at much higher risk of dying from complications of the flu.Ã¢â‚¬?
-James W. Catanese, MD
#3 Get a preventive health exam and know your risk factors.
Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in this country. Risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes are easily discovered during an annual preventive health exam.
#4 Men over 50 should get a prostate exam.
Prostate is one of the most prevalent cancers in men over 50 and an annual examination of the prostate, and a blood test call a PSA, can help to diagnose this disease early when it is still curable.
#5 Get a skin exam.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and easily accessible to evaluate for skin cancer.
-David Ennis, MD, Internal Medicine
#6 Get the HPV vaccine if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re under 26 years old.
It can reduce the risk of cervical cancer and genital warts by 90% and is covered by most insurance. It is a series of three shots.
#7 Get an annual mammogram starting at age 40.
It can reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer by 35 percent.
-Susan Malley, MD, Gynecology
#8 Get screened for colon cancer, if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re over 50.
Although early detection of cancer is always important, prevention of cancer is even better. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. Most cases can be prevented with the periodic removal of precancerous growths called polyps which are removed at colonoscopy. The exam might only be necessary every 10 years, in some circumstances, to provide this benefit.”
-Michael Kushner, MD, Gastroenterology