elderly

  1. The tests seniors should skip

    Exploitation -- it's the only word that comes to mind here.

    Even as the mainstream moves away from routine cancer screenings for men and women alike, there's one group of Americans that are still getting screened regularly for cancers that almost certainly won't hurt them.

    And that's the elderly.

    These are the people least likely to need treatment even if a cancer is detected -- and least able to withstand the traumatic surgeries, dangerous drugs, and toxic chemotherapy often used to "treat” those cancers.

    But the numbers don't lie -- and the newest numbers show that 57 percent of men between the ages of 75 and 79 were screened for prostate cancer, while 42 percent of men older than 80 were actually given PSA tests.

    You have to wonder what the doctors are thinking here: They know these cancers can take decades to develop, decades an 80-year-old doesn't have. They know that even younger men have nothing to worry about in most cases. They know that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended doing away with the PSA test altogether.

    They know all this... yet they're screening anyway, and not just men.

    The same study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that 62 percent of women between the ages of 75 and 79, and 50 percent of women older than 80 have been given mammograms over the past two years.

    And if PSA exams are useless for men, mammograms are every bit as useless for women -- so useless that even mainstream docs are backing away from them.

    That's because all the mammograms in the world have barely made a dent in the breast cancer death rate. These screenings have succeeded in finding harmless cancers, which then end up being treated with disfiguring surgeries and dangerous radiation.

    Similarly, the study also found that 53 percent of women between 75 and 79 and 38 percent of those older than 80 were given pap smears to test for cervical cancer.

    It's ridiculous -- and even the mainstream groups that normally back most cancer screenings agree. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends ending pap smears as early as 65, while the American Cancer Society says there's no benefit after the age of 70.

    In reality, many of these screenings have no benefit at any age. But for seniors, many of whom are already fighting health issues, these screenings, biopsies, and inevitable cancer treatments can turn the golden years into a living nightmare.

    Skip ‘em -- because in this case, what you don't know almost certainly won't hurt you.

  2. Sex can help women age better

    Sex doesn't just get better with age -- age gets better with sex, especially for women.

    In fact, older women with satisfying sex lives have better lives overall -- and that's not just opinion; it's a scientific fact.

    Because when researchers interviewed 1,235 senior women in San Diego, they found that even the elderly can have satisfying sex lives -- and when it comes to those later years, quality trumps quantity (but feel free to boost quantity just the same, it's good for both of you).

    Overall, the researchers say 31 percent of women in their 80s, 57 percent of women in their 70s, and 70 percent of women in their 60s reported at least one sexual encounter over the previous six months.

    But regardless of how much sex they had, they all reported similar levels of moderate to high "sexual satisfaction" -- mostly hovering around 60 percent.

    And with sexual satisfaction came other forms of satisfaction: Those women with satisfying sex lives reported more happiness and a better quality of life than those with less sexual satisfaction.

    The researchers also wrote in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that as women got older, they were more likely to report problems with sexual arousal and desire -- and of course, that's music to the drug industry's ears. (Cheesy 70s porn music, I'm sure.)

    That's because Big Pharma has been lusting after a so-called "female Viagra." And while none of the drugs they've come up with have been approved for women (yet), that hasn't stopped them from priming the market.

    And as I've told you before, some of the tactics they've used have been downright underhanded.

    Don't fall for it.

    In many cases, female sex problems are caused by drug side effects, especially in older women. In other cases, it could just be one of the signs of aging as hormone levels drop -- but not the ones you're thinking of.

    Testosterone is often considered a male hormone, but women need it too. Older women who get a boost often see dramatic improvements in their sex lives.

    If you're having problems with arousal and desire, don't wait for Big Pharma to come out with a sex med. Visit a naturopathic physician who has experience working with hormones.

    Then tell your husband to get ready.

  3. Keeping your brain sharp may be easier than you think

    You can get a sneak peek at an elderly person's future mental health if you know something about their lifestyle, outlook and exercise habits.

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