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Chris asked...

I'm a 58 year old male, height 5'8", weight 11st10lb, and in an average week I will walk and cycle around 15 miles each. I don't smoke, I drink under 20 units of alcohol a week, and my diet includes plenty of fruit and veg, as well as meat and carbs. Therefore I ought to be pretty healthy and I am, but this doesn't protect me from the real nasties like cancer, heart attack or brain haemorrhage. I don't worry unduly about them, and when I get non serious aches and pains I tend to attribute them to just getting older, but they could be indicative of something sinister. Are there any health checks I can get to identify any potential life threatening nasties at an early stage when I can take action to counter them? I ask because every so often a friend or a friend of a friend either has or hears about someone around my age who suddenly becomes faced with a life threatening health situation at a late stage and wishes they had known earlier.

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The Answer

As you are physically active, don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake, this is all in your favour. Regular health checks can be done with your GP such as Blood Pressure checks, PSA, cholesterol testing, and also screening for diabetes, your family history will also be indicative if you are at risk of cancers or heart disease as genetics can play a part. There are several companies who do offer screening and for health checks and these can vary widely in cost as some include CT and MRI scanning if you are looking for something specific. The primary way you can reduce your risk is to be aware of your body and see your GP early if you notice any changes. 

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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