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Health Testing Newsletter - June 2012


June Health News and Articles
National Men's Health Week June 11 - June 17, 2012
With Father's Day celebrated each year in June, it's a perfect time to shine a light on the men and boys in our lives. June is Men's Health Month, with special attention on National Men's Health Week scheduled June 11-17, 2012. This annual event is an opportunity to encourage males of all ages to stop and think about better ways to care for their health, so they can better care for their loved ones.

Recognition and prevention of health problems is not just a man's job. It's a family and a community issue, one that impacts us all. Anchored by a Congressional health education program that began in 1994, with sponsors that include the Men's Health Network, the coalition works to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. The movement has spread worldwide with its own national emphasis in other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia.

Part of the reason for special attention to men's health is that while life expectancies have increased for both men and women, men still don't take proper care of their health. They have higher levels of smoking, drinking and work-related stress, coupled with a lower compliance rate of getting screened for common diseases. Some conditions affect only men - prostate cancer a prime example - yet fewer men than women report regular check-ups and preventive care. Up to 25 percent of men are less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected simple cholesterol-level tests. (Source: Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project www.prevent.htm)

So during Men's Health Week, take a moment, talk to your doctor and consider what you can do to get and stay as fit and as healthy as possible. Do it for yourself but also for those who depend on you to be around long past Father's Day.

At Health Testing Centers  we encourage everyone to take control of their health through periodic screenings. Our online lab tests are quick, easy, affordable and don't require a doctor's visit.

Our Health Check - Male Level 1 provides a comprehensive package of laboratory tests recommended for men who need a baseline to determine their overall level of health. The Health Check - Male Level I includes:

Complete blood count (CBC), complete metabolic profile (CMP) and a urinalysis (UA) that helps assess overall health.
Measures total cholesterol and triglycerides, the primary factors in determining risks for coronary artery disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of men in America today. New research also shows that an increased risk for coronary artery disease may  be passed genetically from father to son.
Measures Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) and Prostatic Acid Phosphates (PAP) and provides an overview of prostate health. Elevated PSA levels are found in cancer as well as benign conditions.
Measures the efficiency and function of the thyroid, the glands which control body temperature and energy levels. Our profile and hormone tests give a full assessment of your thyroid health.
An enzyme found in the liver, ALT testing can determine any liver damage or disease. The testing also know as SGPT keeps track of the impact of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Checks the amount of glucose in the blood and determines risk for diabetes.
High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP)
A test useful in predicting a healthy person's risk for cardiovascular disease.
Take the Test, Take Control
"Take the Test, Take Control" is the message from the National Association of People with AIDS in partnership with the CDC, AIDS.gov and other healthcare entities that promotes National HIV Testing Day each year. For 2012 the commemoration is Wednesday June 27. Among the 1.2 million people in the U.S. currently living with HIV, one in five believe that testing is a critical first step in taking control and responsibility for their own health.

Should You Take an HIV Test?

The answer is yes if you have engaged in risky behaviors that increase your chances of getting AIDS including: shared needles through drug use, unprotected sex with multiple or anonymous partners, an exchange sex for drugs or money, been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, TB or a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you test positive, the sooner you take steps to protect your health, the better your chances for a return to good health.

At Health Testing Centers we are in full agreement with the CDC. Health Testing Centers offer HIV tests and other STD testing that is provided in a quick, confidential manner with a sample HIV STD testing result provided.

HIV Facts
  • The first AIDS case was reported in 1981 and the virus, which weakens the immune system, identified three years later.
  • More than half (54 percent) of U.S. adults ages 18-64 report having been tested for HIV.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine HIV screening in healthcare settings for all adults ages 13-64 and repeat screenings at least once a year for those at high risk.
  • HIV testing is mandatory in the U.S. in certain cases, including for blood and organ donors, military applicants and active duty personnel, some federal and state prisoners and newborns in some states.
World Sickle Cell Day Raises Global Awareness
In an effort to provide an opportunity to increase awareness of sickle cell disease (SCD) the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution recognizing SCD as a public health concern in 2008.

World Sickle Cell Day fosters understanding and awareness of this often misunderstood disease.

Sickle Cell Disease

SCD is an inherited group of red blood cell disorders and is found mainly in African-Americans and (though less often) in Hispanic-Americans. About 90,000 - 100,000 people are affected in the U.S. each year.

The disease gets its name from abnormally shaped cells that appear like small crescents, or sickles, and stick to small blood vessels, blocking the flow of blood and oxygen to the body's organs. These blockages cause severe pain, organ damage, serious infections and even strokes. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention June, 2011.) Symptoms don't usually occur until after an infant reaches 3-4 months. The trait is inherited from both parents.

At Health Testing Centers we offer a Hemoglobin (Hb) Solubility Sickle Cell Anemia test, a blood test looks for the abnormal hemoglobin in the blood that causes the disease or sickle cell trait.
National Cancer Survivor Day
What is a cancer survivor? According to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, which sponsors the annual worldwide celebration, survivors are anyone living with a history of cancer. The yearly event, held the first Sunday in June, is a chance to show the world that life after cancer is not only possible, but can be meaningful and productive.

Though cancer strikes people of all ages, risks are greater as you age. The American Society of Clinical Oncology reports that more than 60 percent of all cancers occur in people over 65. That's the bad news. The good news is that today, more and more cancers are treatable and death rates are decreasing, especially if the malignancy is found early and effective treatment begins. Early treatment can often shrink or destroy a tumor from growing and spreading.

Since men tend to be poor guardians of their health, screening tests are especially important as men age. We understand this at Health Testing Centers,  where a Male Cancer Screening, among other health screenings, is offered through a series of tests that include:
  • Basic Health Screening (BHS) - overall health 
  • PSA & PAP - prostate cancer
  • CEA - colorectal, gastric, pancreatic and lung cancers
  • AFP - testicles, stomach, pancreas or liver cancers 
  • CA 27.29 - breast cancer 
  • CA 19-9 - pancreatic cancer  
Bet You Didn't Know That...
June 1 is National Go Barefoot Day

 It's a shoe-free celebration set on the first day of June. But if you miss it, don't worry. All across America, summer is a great time of year to kick off your shoes and run barefoot or take a stroll on the beach. (It's also a good excuse to get a pedicure).

Consider housecleaning sans shoes. Sort through that pile of old shoes inside your closet. Donate what you don't wear to your favorite charity. Then sit back, prop up your bare feet and relax. 

And remember going barefoot has a way of reducing stress, thereby lowering your risk of a heart attack but if you also want to be prudent get your cholesterol checked from Health Testing Centers for only $39.

June 1 is Also Leave the Office Early Day

We can't all go home early. Or can we? Leave the Office Early Day, on June 1, encourages American employees to get away just a little sooner than later. The result can be improved morale, attitude and productivity. Also another possible way to reduce stress and improve your health.

No need to feel guilty. Americans work, on average, nearly 50 hours a week. That's 350 more hours a year than most Europeans and 70 hours longer than the hard-working Japanese! We are also working more hours than our parents did, or about an extra month of work each year. So plan to start your weekend early June 1.

June is National Candy Month

It seems nearly everyone has a sweet tooth. That's why each American, on average, eats 22 pounds of candy each year and the candy industry is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. (Source: National Confectioner's Association or NCA).

Basically sugar and water, candy is low in fat, cholesterol and caffeine. But that also means it has little nutritional value. So eat a well-balanced diet and as the month of June rolls around, indulge that sweet tooth - but just a little. 
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