Category: Health

More precious than gold!

In Older Women, Risk of Breast Cancer increases with Age

Based on American statistics, the risk of breast cancer in one’s lifetime is 1-in-8, making cancer the #2 leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. If you are a women at 40, the risk is 1-in-68, but as women grows older, the risk increases to 1-in-28 at 60 and 1-in-26 at 70. According to Harvard Medical School, “Half of newly diagnosed women are over 60, and more than a fifth are over 70”.  The good news is that death rates from female breast cancer has declined by about 40% from 1989 to 2007 due to better screening and medical advancement. Here is what older women should know about breast cancer.

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Seniors: When should I give up my Drivers License?

For seniors who have been driving since getting their driver’s license in their twenties, giving up driving is not going to be easy. Most seniors equate driving to independence and mobility – and taking that away from them can be crushing. But we all know that as we grow older, the day will come when we have to give up our car keys. So, when should seniors stop driving? Well, the answer is not that simple.

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What’s the difference between General and Community Hospital in Singapore?

Being admitted to a hospital can be quite unsettling and confusing. That’s why it is important for seniors to understand the difference between general hospitals like Singapore General Hospital(SGH) or National University Hospital(NUH) versus a class of hospitals referred to as community hospitals – such as Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital or Jurong Community Hospital.

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Buying Health Products: Be Very Skeptical

Preying on the old, sick and dying with promise of hope is sickening but it happens at all levels. I have seen so-called good Samaritans trying to hawk purported drugs or tablets that they claim can cure or treat cancer. For example, if you go online, you will find many products that makes wild claims complete with convincing testimonials. There are also pyramid marketing schemes that put on road shows parading to would-be sales agents “personal success stories”. If you think that scammers are the only ones doing this, think again. Seemingly legitimate companies are also cashing in on the game. Seniors who are not well versed in the deceptive nature of the internet are the best customers for these less than scrupulous sellers. Here is what you should do.

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Growing Old and “The Big C” (Cancer) … What Should I Do?

One of the most feared diagnosis is “the Big C” – or cancer – for most seniors. We often hear of friends and relatives doing battle with this dreadful disease and it has a lot to do with ageing. Based on UK statistics, 36% of all cancers are diagnosed in people over 75 or older and 53% of all cancers are diagnosed in people between 50 and 74. Noting that cancer can strike at any age, it is a statistical fact that the incidence of cancer is highly correlated with ageing. For men, the top three cancers are prostate, lung and colorectal. For women, they are breast, lung and colorectal — with breast cancer being the most common by far at 30%. Age is a major risk factor but in reality, there is not much we can do about ageing (unless science discovers the proverbial “fountain of youth”).

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When should I see my Geriatrician vs my GP?

Geriatricians are generally family practice or internal medicine doctors that specialises in the care and treatment of older patients, generally those over 65. But many elderly persons already see their GPs or family doctors regularly – so why do they need to see an “old-age” specialist? For many, they may not. They can continue to go to their GP or family doctor for regular checkups and treatments. So when should you see a geriatrician?

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Does Growing Old Cause Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that interrupts your breathing when you sleep – sometimes causing you to stop breathing anywhere from 10 seconds up to several minutes. The most common type of sleep apnea is known as “obstructive sleep apnea” or OSA for short. OSA happens when your airway become blocked when you are sleeping. A common symptom is snoring. Sleep apnea is dangerous because it is known to cause high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, weight gain and other health problems. But for drivers it may be worse — sleep apnea can cause drowsiness when driving and has been linked to road accidents.

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American Dietetic Association: Thumbs Up for Vegetarian Diets but …

You have heard that a vegetarian diet is healthier and can help you live longer – yes, it is true and there is ample scientific evidence. What is a vegetarian diet? There are two types of vegetarians – while both do not eat any animal meat — the more common group is known as lacto-ovo vegetarians who will also eat animal by-products such as eggs and cheese. The vegans do not eat any of the by-products.

An evidence-based review shows that a vegetarian diet is associated with lower risk of death of ischemic heart disease, lower risk of hypertension, diabetes and cancer compared to non-vegetarian. A typical vegetarian diet includes foods that are loaded with nutrients that are healthy for us. But just avoiding meat does not automatically make for a good diet plan and may even work against you. If you decide to do vegetarian, here’s how to make the best of your dietary choice.

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Study Finds That Loneliness Peaks in Your 20s, 50s and 80s — What Do Seniors Need to Know?

A study recently published tells us that while rising rates of loneliness is no surprise, there are three different ages where loneliness peaks: during the 20s, 50s and 80s. About 75% of the subjects surveyed has moderate to high levels of loneliness. The measure of loneliness is subjective and is defined as “subjective distress” between the social relationships that you want and the ones that you have.

Here are some findings in the study that was done in San Diego County, California, USA — with 340 participants ranging from 27 to 101 years old.

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Seniors, Beware of Herbal Supplements!

The benefits of herbal supplements are well publicised – from gingko nuts improving your memory to flaxseed helping to lower your cholesterol.  Most of the herbal supplements are available over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets.  However, it is important to note that while there may be some regulations ensuring good manufacturing practices – most herbal supplements do not need FDA or regulatory approval to sell their products to the public.  Seniors should be cautious about using herbal supplements because some of them can have potent “medicine-like” effects on your blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar.  In severe cases, it may even result in damage to your liver or kidney.  

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