I personally believe blanket recommendations for cancer screening are inappropriate. Anything that carries risk to a symptom-free person should be their decision alone, and an informed decision at that... Few benefit from screening, while many get caught up in over-detection & massive over-treatment (pap tests) (the word "massive" was used by Dr Alex Barrett on the ABC Health Report with Norman Swan) or over-diagnosis (breast screening). Prostate screening also leads to high over-diagnosis and over-treatment. We often don't hear about the risks of testing and IMO, the so-called benefits of screening are often inflated. I always urge people to do some independent research - don't rely on the screening brochures that IMO, don't provide balanced and complete information. It's important to make sure you have ALL of the facts when you put your healthy body on the line. I totally agree about buying your Mum or Dad a cookery book with a heart health focus. Our No 1 killer - I think it's largely forgotten and the focus goes onto the cancers we screen for...because we hear about them all the time. Sometimes with the promotion of screening, we overlook more serious and likely risks to our health. I think we need to examine our risk profiles, I know that my ancestors all died from heart disease - heart attacks or strokes - that will be my focus. A pedometer is also a great gift. We gave Mum a gym membership when our father passed away - it's been wonderful - she's never been so fit and it's also a great social experience - she's made new friends of all ages and calls them her "second family". You can also relax at the gym using the pool and some have steam rooms or a jacuzzi. It's also great for mental health - exercise can lift the spirits, relieve stress & help with self-esteem and confidence. It helped Mum build a new life after the early loss of her life partner. She's now also doing yoga...she's 79 and has been a "gym junkie" for 17 years. There's no doubt the gym membership has extended our mother's life and also given her a great quality of life.

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