By Caroline Brown
Special to The PREVIEW
The organization and planning for the 2015 9Health Fair on Saturday, March 28, at Pagosa Springs High School from 7 to 11 a.m. continues in spite of Pagosa’s snowy weather.
Colorado 9Health Fairs offer their communities low-cost and free health screenings in addition to educational materials to help people own their health by being proactive. The screening results provided by the Pagosa 9Health Fair are not a diagnosis, but a medical tool to monitor or discover potential health problems and should be discussed with a medical provider.
One of the blood screenings offered at 9Health Fairs, but not always talked about in detail, is the PSA (prostate specific antigen) screening for men only. With prostate cancer being the most common cancer in men, 9Health recommends the $30 PSA screening for males 40 and over with a history of prostate cancer, and all males 50 to 75.
This blood screening measures a protein that is only produced by the male prostate gland. Elevations of PSA may occur in men with noncancerous prostate diseases or prostate cancer; however, a normal PSA level does not entirely exclude the possibility of prostate cancer. A prostate/testicular screening is strongly encouraged in conjunction with the PSA screening.
The 9Health Fair Medical Advisory Council suggests that men discuss the benefits of prostate cancer screening and the screening results with their health care providers.
The $30 PSA screening and all of the other low-cost blood tests offered at the Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair, which include $35 blood chemistry screening; $20 blood cell count screening; $45 vitamin D screening and $30 hemoglobin A1c screening, provide an entry point to health care.
Vouchers are available to Pagosa participants for the $35 blood chemistry screening and all you need to do is call 731-4248 to see if you qualify.
Fasting is optional for the 2015 Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair. Participants should check with their health care providers as to whether or not they should fast and which screenings would be beneficial.
Online registration is available through www.9healthfair.org/findafair and allows for prepayment with a credit card for all blood screenings and the take home colon cancer kit. Each online registration participant must have their own email address and online registration must be completed by noon on Friday, March 27. Online registrations cannot be transferred to another site and are nonrefundable. Participants can also register the day of the fair with check or cash. Credit cards are only accepted through the online registration.
Look for more information in The Pagosa Springs SUN and PREVIEW as the 9Health Fair date draws nearer. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or if you have any questions, please call Caroline Brown at 731-4248.