New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines from the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society issed new screening guidelines for the early detection of Lung Cancer today.

A new report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society says that:

“Findings from the National Cancer Institute’s National Lung Screening Trial established that lung cancer mortality in specific high-risk groups can be reduced by annual screening with low-dose computed tomography. These findings indicate that the adoption of lung cancer screening could save many lives.”

the recommendations are:

  • The patient is aged 55 to 74 years, has at least a 30–pack-year smoking history (the equivalent of 1 pack per day for 30 years), and currently smokes or has quit within the past 15 years
  • The patient has undergone a thorough discussion of the benefits, limitations, and risks of screening.
  • The patient can be screened in a setting with experience in lung cancer screening.

A copy of the press release outlining the recommendations and the research behind them can be found by clicking here:  http://pressroom.cancer.org/lung2013

At Canada Diagnostic, we have been offering low-dose CT screenings for lung cancer since 2002, and would be happy help you decide if screening is right for you.  call us today at 604-709-8522 or write to us at info@canadadiagnostic.com

 

 

 

 

 

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans, Early Detection, Lung Cancer, and Screening Exams. Tags: CT scan, CT Screening, early detection, lung cancer, and Lung Cancer Screening.
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Bottom Line: Mammograms save lives

Read this great blog by Vancouver Sun Personal Health reporter Erin Ellis:

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/10/31/bottom-line-mammograms-save-lives/

Erin writes about a presentation made by our Breast Imaging Specialist, Dr. Ian Gardiner about the controversy and confusion surrounding screening guidelines and why he recommends annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40.

And be sure to read Erin’s other great health blogs at:  http://blogs.vancouversun.com/author/erinellis1/

If you have any questions about breast imaging or other diagnostic imaging, please give us a call any time at 604-709-8522 or write to us at info@canadadiagnostic.com.  We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.

 

  Filed under: Categories: Breast Cancer and Mammogram.
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Should you have a Breast MRI before surgery?

That’s a question that many people newly-diagnosed with breast cancer might be asking their surgeon.  Currently, there isn’t definitive data to show whether having a breast MRI before surgery changes a patient’s outcome, so it isn’t easy for your surgeon to give you a definite yes or no to that question.

The debate going on isn’t about whether MRI finds more cancer, but instead, whether it improves diagnostic accuracy and therefore outcomes (such as reducing the number of surgeries or cancer recurrances, and whether survival rates improve).

A study done at Yale University and presented at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual conference in 2011 showed that re-operation rates were dramatically reduced when breast MRI was used.  But that is just one study, and there are others out there that show no difference.

So, why do we do breast MRI?  At Canada Diagnostic, we offer breast MRI as a way for patients and their surgeons to get the clearest picture possible about the size, shape and location of their cancer.  A small percentage of women will have a tiny cancer in their other breast that wasn’t seen on mammography or ultrasound, and a number may have a tumour that is actually larger or more extensive than what was seen on their diagnostic imaging.  This information is helpful when planning surgery (lumpectomy and breast-conserving surgery) and can help reduce the need for a follow-up surgery.    For some patients, the peace of mind that comes from knowing the “full picture” is important.

The role of breast MRI in the management of breast cancer is probably going to start changing in the coming years.  As we learn more and more about the biology of the different types of breast cancer, researchers may begin to develop imaging sequences based on the particular type of tumour the patient has.

If you would like to learn more about breast MRI and whether it might be right for you, call us today at 604-709-8522 or drop us an email at info@canadadiagnostic.com And don’t forget to have your annual mammogram if you are a woman over 40 – its still the best first-line tool we have for finding cancer early.

  Filed under: Categories: Breast Cancer, Breast MRI, and MRI Scans. Tags: breast, breast cancer, breast mri, breast surgery, and early detection.
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#1 Heart Disease Predictor

Coronary Artery  Calcium (CAC) – detected by a simple CT screening scan, is the most important predictor of cardiovascular events according to a new analysis published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers found that elevated CAC scores were better predictors of cardiovascular events than six other tests commonly used as risk markers for heart disease for patients with intermediate risk of heart disease.

Today, cardiovascular disease prevention focuses on treating at-risk people based on their overall cardiovascular risk.  Your Doctor may use a tool called the Framingham risk score as a first step in determining your risk profile.  This is a good overall took, but might not be that precise for people with higher than normal risk factors.  So, other risk models can be used in addition to Framingham to get a more accurate picture.

When researchers compared different types of risk markers, they found Coronary Artery Calcium scores to be the best at better clarifying  cardiovascular risk  prediction for intermediate-risk people.

Canada Diagnostic has been offering Coronary Artery Calcium scores since 2002.  It is a quick and accurate way to look at your coronary arteries to detect hard placque, an early indicator of atherosclerosis.  Learn more about the scan and our other atherosclerosis risk screening tests by clicking here.

Call us anytime to find out more about our diagnostic scanning (MRI, CT and Ultrasound) as well as our screening exams.  We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.  604-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular and Heart Scans. Tags: Calcium Score, coronary calcium, heart disease, heart scan, risk factors, and screening exam.
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Patients who “see” their heart disease are much more motivated to follow doctor’s orders

Patients who see for themselves the build up of hard plaque (calcium) in their coronary arteries  become more compliant about taking cholesterol-lowering medicine and are more likely to lose weight according to two large studies which were presented to the American College of Cardiology in March of this year.

Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring (CACS) not only is able to diagnose early signs of coronary artery disease, it is also able to provide a predictive value (percentage risk of having a serious cardiac event).  And as the results of these studies show, a CACS may also be a motivator.

We all know that a healthy diet, weight control and lifestyle changes (exercise, not smoking, taking medications) can help those living with coronary artery disease – now we have a tool to help motivate us to stay on the right path!

Call us today to learn more about CACS and other screening tests we have for the early detection of disease.  1-877-709-8522 or visit our website here.

  Filed under: Categories: Uncategorized.
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Breast MRI helps predict chemo’s effectiveness

MRI that is used to determine how well breast cancer tumours are responding to chemotherapy may help shape patient care.  A new study shows how imaging can play a vital role in characterizing a tumor and monitoring treatment response.

A study done at the University of California (San Francisco) looked at the results of women who had chemotherapy prior to surgery.  They received Breast MRIs before their chemo started, after one round of chemo, after a second round of chemo and again prior to surgery.

Breast MRI proved to be better than clinical examination in accurately showing how well a tumour responded to chemotherapy and how much tumour was remaining.  Researchers found that the best predictive information about how a tumour is responding comes early in treatment–during the MRI done after the first treatment.  This means that doctors can get useful information early on in a patient’s chemotherapy to determine how well its working.  Treatment changes then can be made if necessary.

If you have received a diagnosis of breast cancer, or have had breast cancer in the past, talk to your doctor about having a Breast MRI. 

Breast MRI exams are available at Canada Diagnostic, analyzed by a radiologist with a sub-speciality in breast imaging.  Call us today for more information at 877-709-8522 or email us:  info@canadadiagnostic.com

  Filed under: Categories: Breast Cancer and Breast MRI. Tags: breast cancer, breast mri, Canada Diagnostic Vancouver, CDC Vancouver, and MRI Vancouver.
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A cure for “Jumper’s Knee”?

Do you have patellar tendinitis or tendinopathy – also known as Jumper’s Knee?  This can be a stubborn condition that causes pain when jumping or kneeling and is usually caused by overuse.

Tendinopathies can be hard to heal – tendons don’t have a rich blood supply which is necessary for healing.  Blood carries “repair” components to the injury site including, healing cells, and the body’s own chemicals necessary for healing (growth factors).

When Jumper’s Knee becomes chronic and traditional conservative therapies (rest, physiotherapy, bracing) haven’t improved matters, it might be time to try something new:  hcPRP.

hcPRP, or highly-concentrated platelet-rich plasma, is a concentration of blood platelets, made from your own blood and injected directly into the tendon.  What does it do?  Well, it delivers platelets, full of the healing ingredients that can kick-start the repair process of stubborn injuries.

Canada Diagnostic Centres in Vancouver is the only place in Canada that you can get hcPRP treatments.  There are other platelet-rich-plasma treatments available, but they only concentrate the platelets to 5-8x baseline and multiple injections are usually required.  With hcPRP, we concentrate the platelets to 25-45x baseline and one injection is generally all that is required.

An important component to our treatments is that we use image-guidance for our injections.  We use either ultrasound or CT to help the radiologist visualize exactly where the injection needs to go and to help him ensure the needle delivers the hcPRP to the exact spots it is needed most.  Result?  More accurate placement of hcPRP resulting in better healing.

Will hcPRP help you?  We have had a lot of success treating a number of chronic tendinopathies with hcPRP, so if you have been diagnosed with Jumper’s Knee or patellar tendonopathy, give us a call to learn more about hcPRP.

Call us today at 1-877-709-8522 to learn more.

  Filed under: Categories: hcPRP, hcPRP, injections, Knee, Knee, Knee, MSK, pain management, PRP, PRP, and Sport Medicine. Tags: hcPRP, jumper's knee, knee pain, pain management, pateller tendon, platelet rich plasma vancouver, PRP, and PRP Vancouver.
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American Lung Association supports CT Lung Cancer Screening

The American Lung Association has recommended CT Lung Cancer Screening for smokers and former smokers.

Mounting evidence –  including findings from the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s National Lung Screening Trial – indicates that most lung cancer deaths can be prevented when detected at an early stage with CT screening.

CT Lung Cancer Screening is a well-studied test, with 10’s of thousands of patients scanned over the past 15+ years.  It is an “evidence-based” exam meaning that  there is consistent scientific evidence showing that the exam improves patient outcomes.  CT Lung Cancer screening is just one of the evidence-based screening exams offered at Canada Diagnostic in Vancouver.  Click here to find out more about our screening exams for the early detection of atherosclerosis and colon cancer.

If you are a smoker or former smoker, consider getting a CT Lung Cancer Screening Exam.  It may save your life.

Call us today at 1-877-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Colon Cancer, Heart Scans, and Lung Cancer. Tags: atherosclerosis, colon cancer, CT Lung Scan, heart disease, lung cancer, lung cancer deaths, Lung Cancer Early Detection, and Lung Cancer Screening.
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Adding MRI or Ultrasound to Mammograms may help discover more cancers

Women with an increased risk of breast cancer AND dense breasts may benefit from adding ultrasounds or MRIs to their annual mammogram screenings.

Researchers from 21 institutions affiliated with the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) found that ultrasounds and MRIs found additional cancers not seen by mammography alone.  The study concluded that supplemental ultrasounds increased cancer detection by an average of 4.3 cancers per 1,000 women per year while MRI further increased cancer detection by an average of 14.7 cancers per 1,000 women per year.

Why doesn’t mammography find these cancers?  One of the lead researchers said that looking for a cancer in a woman with dense breasts via mammography is “like looking for a polar bear in a snowstorm”.  Dense breast tissue looks very white on mammography – and so does cancer.

So who exactly should get supplemental MRI and/or ultrasound?  Women who have dense breasts and more than one risk factor for breast cancer.  Risk factors include a having a known or suspected breast cancer gene mutation, prior radiation therapy to the chest area, prominent family history of breast cancer, prior atypical biopsy and extremely dense breasts.  Its best to review your history and risk factors with your doctor.

To learn more about whether a breast MRI or screening ultrasound is right for you, talk to your doctor or call us for more information any time at 604-709-8522.  Or visit us on the web.

  Filed under: Categories: Breast Cancer, Breast MRI, MRI Scans, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: breast cancer, breast mri, Mammogram, and ultrasound.
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MRI shows benefits of Mediterranean diet on the brain

A study that appears in February 2012’s issue of Archives of Neurology suggests that eating a Mediterranean-style diet may offer protection against small-vessel disease.  Damage to small blood vessels can cause damage in the brain and other organs. 

The study included performing brain MRIs on the participants.  The researchers noted a correlation between the participants’ diets and the amount of white-matter hyperintesity (“WMH”) volumes in their brain.  WMH are markers for small-vessel damage and are associated with vascular risk factors such as smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.  The more closely a person followed a Mediterranean-style diet, the less WMH they had.

The study findings might also help explain recent studies that have linked consumption of a Mediterranean diet with lower incidence of neurological conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

What is the Mediterranean diet?  Think: olive oil, fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts.  Try to limit the amount of red meat, saturated fats and refined grains you eat.  If its in a can, a box or a jar – don’t buy it!

While you can’t get an MRI of your brain to see how your diet is working, it might be appropriate to get one if you are experiencing some cognitive difficulties.  Talk to your doctor, and together you can come up with a game plan.  If your doctor thinks an MRI might be appropriate, give us a call at 1-877-709-8522. 

 

  Filed under: Categories: Brain Scans, Brain Scans, CT Scans, and MRI Scans. Tags: brain, brain health, dementia, diet, and MRI.
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