- Have a healthy well balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and veggies and low in fat
- Ensure an adequate dietary calcium intake, and have your Vitamin D levels checked to maintain healthy bones
- Drink plenty of water
- Be sun smart using a combination of the five sun protection measures during the daily sun protection times (Slip on long sleeved clothing, Slap on a hat, Slop on SPF 30+, Slide on sunglasses and Seek shade). keep an eye on your own skin and if you notice any changes, see your GP immediately http://www.sunsmart.com.au/default.asp
- Perform regular skin self examination , with the help of a hand-held mirror or a partner/ friend. Check your skin over from top to toe , including the soles of your feet, front and back of your body. We recommend every 2- 3 months at least. Taking photographs of your skin can help you identify new spots. If you have any new or changing spots on your skin, get them checked immediately by your doctor! check out this link on how to do skin self examination http://www.aad.org/spot-skin-cancer/understanding-skin-cancer/how-do-i-check-my-skin/how-to-perform-a-self-exam
- Have a regular medical check up, the frequency depending on age, health status and family history. Eg We recommend at least an annual medical check for people over the age of 40. It is a good idea to have your blood pressure, body mass index measured with a thorough physical examination, and blood tests to check cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as anything else considered relevant for your good health
- Have vaccinations. This is the link to the Australian national Immunisation program https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-throughout-life/national-immunisation-program-schedule#national-immunisation-program-schedule-from-1-april-2019 Vaccination against the human papilloma virus , which is implicated in causing most cervical cancer with Gardasil is recommended . It is part of the routine childhood vaccination program in Australia these days, but for those adults, men and women, who have not been vaccinated, it may be recommended. Gardasil is readily available . Please discuss its relevance for you with your doctor.
- Annual flu vaccination is highly recommended for everyone. It is free for those over the age of 65, those with certain medical conditions and pregnant women. It is readily available and cheap for everyone else!
- Have screening for bowel cancer .Generally recommended after age 40. For people with no bowel symptoms of concern or family history of bowel cancer, faecal occult blood testing is the simplest method of screening for invisible blood in the bowel action. For those with bowel symptoms, a family history of bowel cancer or a positive faecal occult blood test, colonoscopy would be more appropriate , and screening may begin at a younger age Please discuss you bowel health with your doctor. Here is a link with information about the national bowel cancer screening program in Australia
For information on how to reduce your cancer risks visit these links to the Cancer Council : http://www.cancervic.org.au/preventing-cancer, www.cutyourcancerrisk.org.au
- Learn to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other first aid skills. Imagine the satisfaction of being able to help someone who may collapse in your presence, or choke on something, rather than feeling helpless. Everyone can learn these skills. One way is to do a course through St John’s Ambulance. Check out this linkhttp://www.stjohn.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14&Itemid=25
- Relax/ learn to manage your stress– learning relaxation techniques can be very beneficial, in addition to engaging in relaxing activities such as escaping to a tropical island!. It is beneficial to the health to be able to switch off the stress response
For women :
- Cervical screening tests ( 5 yearly when results are normal) help prevent cervical cancer . Please ensure you have your first cervical screening test within 2 years of becoming sexually active or within 2 years of your last PAP smear. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/cervical-screening-test
- Regular breast self examination is important. It is a good idea for women to examine their own breasts every month , after the period if premenopausal, or set a routine reminder after the menopause. this should be continued throughout life
- Mammograms (2 yearly when results are normal) help detect breast cancer early. Available from 40 years of age through breast screen Victoria. Other forms of breast imaging such as ultrasound and MRI can also be performed when indicated.Women with breast symptoms or a family history of breast cancer , at any age, are advised to discuss their imaging / management needs with their doctor. http://www.breastscreen.org.au/
- Bone density studies are useful after the menopause to monitor bone health.
For men :
- Make sure to discuss any concerns you have regarding your “waterworks” with your doctor . For example any difficulty in passing urine. It may be advisable to have a blood test to check your PSA level ( prostate specific antigen) and also to have your prostate examined.