MEDICAL MOMENT: SHOULD YOU BE TESTED FOR HEPATITIS C?

Telluride Inside… and Out is proud to feature the Telluride Medical Center’s MEDICAL MOMENT, a weekly column that answers common medical questions in pop culture. Have a question for the doctors? Click here to send.

Dr. Sharon Grundy answers this week’s question:

“SHOULD YOU BE TESTED FOR HEPATITIS C?”

Dr. Sharon Grundy - Telluride Medical Center

Dr. Sharon Grundy

So, here is the scoop.

The short answer is, if you’re born between 1945 -1965: Yes, get a one-time Hepatitis C Test!

Hepatitis C causes serious liver diseases, including liver cancer (the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths) and is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.

One in 30 baby boomers has been infected with hepatitis C, and most do not know it.

This month the Center of Disease Control (CDC) formalized their recommendation that all baby boomers be tested. In fact, the CDC estimates testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with hepatitis C.

One of the reasons for the CDC recommendation is, over the past 10 years, our ability to treat and actually cure Hepatitis C has improved dramatically, with newly available therapies that can cure up to 75 percent of infections. Expanded testing – along with linkage to appropriate care and treatment – would prevent the costly consequences of liver cancer and other chronic liver diseases and save more than 120,000 lives.

Locally, we have great resources in Grand Junction at University of Colorado for those who test positive.

If you’re a baby boomer, put a Hepatitis C Test on your medical To Do list. It could save your life.

 

Editor’s note: The Telluride Medical Center is the only 24-hour emergency facility within 65 miles. You can choose your own medical provider visit with a specialist or take advantage of their Mountain Skin Care services. As a mountain town in a challenging, remote environment, a thriving medical center is vital to our community’s health. For more Medical Moments on TIO, Click Here.

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