I wanted to thank you for your article in the March 8 edition encouraging your readers to be proactive in getting their colonoscopies done on schedule (“Get past the eww! factor and get checked,” page A5, March 8 Herald).
As a practitioner of preventative medicine, I often see patients go through unneeded suffering because they are missing their scheduled screenings and preventative treatments. The importance of things like colonoscopies, shingles vaccines, diabetes screening, and breast and prostate cancer screening can’t be overstated. They not only prevent suffering in the future, but also save the medical system millions, if not trillions, of dollars.
Every time we allow our health to deteriorate past normal maintenance, we develop the need for invasive, expensive and unpleasant treatment modalities. With medical expenses nationwide exceeding 15 percent of our GDP and as many as 25 percent of all senior citizens declaring bankruptcy because of medical expenses, taking care of your health is not just good for you, it’s good for the nation. In order to develop a sustainable and fiscally responsible health care future, we need to implement change to switch the focus of medicine from damage control to crisis prevention and health maintenance.
An area of early screening that I think is going underutilized is the realm of genetic screening. Measures such as apolipoprotein E genotyping (a measure that indicates your cardiovascular and dementia risk) and MTHFR variant genotypes (a measure of how well you methylate B vitamins, which may be a predictor of colon cancer risk, and can help influence optimized diet and vitamin use). These relatively easy and inexpensive screening options have the potential to guide easy and cheap choices today, to prevent expensive and difficult interventions in the future.
Thanks for your great work.
Kieran Jones, L.Ac.
Healing Jones Acupuncture