One Upside of Aging: No More Cancer Screenings!

Did you know that many elderly Americans might not need cancer screenings? As it turns out, that’s something many of them don’t know either.

The Orlando Sentinel is calling seniors’ attention to that fact, offering it as a sort of silver lining for those who are concerned about the mounting health challenges of old age.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Sentinel says, seniors who are not otherwise at high risk for these conditions can now make the following changes:

  • Mammograms for breast cancer can stop around age 75
  • Colonoscopies for colon cancer can stop around age 75
  • Pap tests for cervical cancer can stop around age 65
  • Prostate cancer screening for men can stop around age 69

Meanwhile, The Washington Post also reports that the American Cancer Society (ACS) no longer encourages younger women to get regular breast cancer screenings either.

Getting a permission slip to stop the screenings comes as a relief to many — a veritable crossing of the metaphorical finish line — though regular doctor visits should continue at every age, and no one should ever stop getting screenings without talking to their doctor first.

As New Jersey elder law attorneys, the Sentinel article caught our eyes as a reminder of the many age-associated challenges facing today’s seniors. Dementia may get the lion’s share of the elder care news coverage these days, but cancer and other chronic conditions continue to lead many elderly Americans into long-term care as well.

It’s nice to know, then, that there might be a sigh of relief in store for those who reach their mid-70s without complication. Still, for many others, those cancer screenings will come back with bad news ahead of the mid-70s “finish line.”

Fortunately, the latter group can take comfort in knowing that they’ve already made sound financial plans for the cost of their care. That’s something our office can help with in advance, no matter how near or far away those days may be. Give us a call today.