Do it yourself

Have you ever had a sick child and just knew it was strep throat? Or wanted to get your cholesterol checked between doctor’s visits? You can get both tests done, and many more, without a doctor’s order and without an appointment at Parrish Direct Access Testing. More than 25 tests are available at any of the four Direct Access Testing locations in North and Central Brevard. Parrish Medical Center (PMC) is pleased to offer this walk-in service to local residents, and most tests cost $20 or less (some are higher, so be sure to check). Here are two of the newest tests available for your good health.

 heart disease and stroke

Did you know:

  • 87 percent of strokes are ischemic (the result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain).
  • 68 percent of all heart attacks and strokes occur from clots, not from narrowing of the arteries.

  • PMC has made it easier than ever to find out if you have an underlying risk for heart attack or stroke. Now added to Direct Access Testing, the PLAC Test is the only blood test cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to aid in assessing risk for both coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke associated with atherosclerosis.
    The PLAC Test is a blood test that measures the level of Lp-PLA2 (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2), an enzyme associated with artery inflammation. Increased levels of Lp-PLA2 increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
    You may have already had other tests to check your cholesterol, but the PLAC Test is the only one that can tell your physician if your artery walls are inflamed. If your PLAC Test is high, you are at increased risk for heart attack or stroke. And over 50 percent of people who have a heart attack or stroke have no symptoms until they occur.
    According to tests done by the Mayo Clinic, and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1987 to 1996), if your PLAC Test is low, you are at lower risk for heart attack or stroke, even if you have coronary artery disease.
    The PLAC Test is available for only $40 at all Parrish Direct Access Testing locations.

 colon cancer

You know what you should do for good colon health, right? But sometimes it’s just too much to think about, even though colon cancer, if caught early, is one of the most treatable cancers.
The American Cancer Society reports that excluding skin cancers, colorectal (or colon) cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the U.S. And even though early screening can help prevent colorectal cancer and save lives, only 39 percent of the people who should get colon cancer screenings actually get them.
Don’t be one of the 61 percent who don’t get screened!
Parrish Direct Access Testing, which requires no doctor’s order, now offers a new, more accurate, less-invasive colon cancer screening for only $20.
The immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) is more accurate than the traditional fecal occult tests. There are no dietary restrictions prior to the test and it has been FDA-approved for a single specimen collected at home. The iFOBT is also more sensitive to blood in the stool and more specifi c in what it tests. In fact, this new test is so easy to use, patients are much more likely to complete it. If the results are positive for hidden blood, a colonoscopy the defi nitive test for colorectal cancer, is required to investigate further
The American Cancer Society and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend fecal occult blood test (FOBT) annually after age 50 to aid in the early detection of colorectal cancer or its precursors—polyps, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease. Other tests for colorectal cancer are recommended for different time periods with at least one of the following done on a regular basis:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Virtual colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Double contrast barium enema
  • every five years
You should do at least one of these tests consistently. See your doctor regularly and be sure to tell him or her if you are having any abnormal bowel movements or blood in your stool. Don’t take any chances with your good health.