Numbers you need to know
Welcome to spring! It’s that time of year again. Go for a walk. Put some new plantings in the ground. Watch the trees bud and flowers bloom. Look out for little ones crossing the road (our children, not the crazy ground squirrels). Pull out the golf clubs and tune up the bikes. Perhaps best of all, get ready to fast for our local health fairs.
Valley View Hospital and Channel 9 News are both sponsoring health fairs on Saturday, April 17. Valley View Hospital’s screenings are in Glenwood Springs with the location and time as follows:
Valley View Medical Office Building, 1830 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs, from 7 a.m. to noon. Enter at Glenwood Medical Associates, lower level. For more information, visit http://www.vvh.org
This excellent site is a great resource for seasonal medical information as well as general information on Valley View Hospital and the specialty and primary care physicians there.
The details on Channel 9 News Health Fair: Eagle Valley Middle School
747 East Third Street, Eagle, from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit http://www.9news.com
Ready? 84, 182, 49, 124, 143 hike. Do you know your numbers such as blood sugar, total cholesterol, HDL (or good) cholesterol, LDL (or bad) cholesterol and triglycerides? Those numbers and several more are available if you choose to have your blood taken and pay the lowest fee this side of a free lunch. Have your blood pressure checked and get your skin evaluated for cancer (remember we live in the number two skin cancer state). Women can receive a breast exam from a medical provider. These are just as few of the screenings that will be available.
What other numbers do you need to know?
n $30: the cost of the comprehensive blood work.
n $25: the cost of the PSA test (for men only). This test screens for prostate cancer. It is recommended yearly for all men over 50 or younger men between 40 and 50 with a strong family history of prostate cancer.
n $5: the cost of the take home kit for screening for colorectal cancer. This important test is targeted to people over 50 years of age.
n 8-12 hours: you guessed, the number of hours to fast before the comprehensive blood screening in order to get the most accurate blood sugar and cholesterol results.
n 12 ounces: how much water you should drink when you get up. Remember, water won’t alter your blood tests so drink as much as you want.
n 10, 20 or more: the number of years you could add to our life by health screening, early treatment and prevention of disease.
While we all should be thankful that such excellent screening is available, it is important to remember that a blood test isn’t everything. It is simply a start. Regardless of the PSA test, men over 50 should have a digital rectal exam. Mammograms and colonoscopy are other important cancer-screening tests. If your blood work is ALL normal, congratulations. If there are abnormalities, however, talk to your doctor. Treatment and other laboratory guidelines are constantly changing. That necessitates having a dialogue with your physician to review treatment, discuss next steps in monitoring or getting more advanced diagnostic studies.
Remember the health risks we need to pay attention to are often the ones we don’t feel until there is already a problem! Visit one of our health fairs and find out how you are. Talk to your doctor if anything seems off, or if you have any questions or concerns.
I’ll look for you there!
Remember your health is your responsibility. Health is our greatest asset and it doesn’t happen by accident. If something doesn’t seem right, or questions are left unanswered, don’t wait. Call your doctor.
Dr. Drew Werner of the Eagle Valley Medical Center writes a weekly column for the Daily. He encourages health questions. Write him by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Editor, Vail Daily, P.O. Box 81, Vail, 81658.