CT Lung Cancer Screening – Named one of the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2012

World-renowned Cleveland Clinic just held their annual Medical Innovation Summit and have announced their Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2012– the technologies and innovations that will have the biggest impact on healthcare next year.

Did you know that Lung Cancer is the #1 cause of cancer-related deaths in North America?  Lung Cancer accounts for more deaths each year than Breast, Prostate, Colon and Pancreatic  cancer combined.  And now we have a tool that has been shown to help reduce the number of deaths each year from lung cancer.

The #2 Innovation is CT Lung Cancer Screening  which the Medical Innovation Summit says:

This high-tech scan generates a series of detailed cross-sectional images of the lungs that are used to create a three-dimensional image. These scans can not only identify tumors earlier, but also spot them when the tumors are smaller and more treatable by surgery. Surgery is the best treatment for most types of lung cancer. 

If caught earlier through screening, the potential to save lives is great: Upwards of 60 to 90 percent of lung cancers are curable in the early stages. Screening for colon, breast, and cervical cancer has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from these cancers compared to those who are not screened.

 Find out more about CT Scans for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer at  Canada Diagnostic Centres.  Call us for more information, or book your Lung Cancer Screening with us today at 1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans and Lung Cancer. Tags: CT Screening and lung cancer.
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Pain Management – Now Available!

Has your doctor discussed therapeutic injections for managing your pain?  

Your doctor may have recommended a therapeutic  injection to help reduce the pain you are experiencing, or to help pinpoint the source of your pain.  A local anaesthetic is used to temporarily dull the pain in the area being treated and often a steroid is also used to help reduce inflammation or irritation of a nerve, tendon or ligament.

At Canada Diagnostic Centres, we use image-guidance – meaning we use either ultrasound or CT to help our radiologist ensure the most precise placement of the needle in order to maximize the success of the injection.

To ensure you are a good candidate for an injection at Canada Diagnostic, our radiologists will review your doctor’s referral and diagnostic imaging before we make an appointment with you. 

Areas we treat:  Shoulder / Elbow / Hip / Knee / Ankle / Lumbar Region

Contact us today to learn more:

Phone:  604-709-8522 or toll free 1-877-709-8522

Email:  info@canadadiagnostic.com

  Filed under: Categories: injections, pain management, and therapeutic injections. Tags: back pain, hip pain, image-guided, pain injections, pain management, and shoulder pain.
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CT Lung Cancer Screening Cuts Deaths

Lung cancer screening by CT, or computed tomography, can reduce lung cancer deaths by detecting the disease at early stages, a new study from the National Cancer Institute says. It was the first time researchers saw a reduction in death as a result of lung screening, experts said.

In the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), more than 53,000 current and past heavy smokers between the ages of 55 and 74 were screened for lung cancer by either low-dose CT scan or standard chest X-ray. Researchers found 20 percent fewer deaths in those screened by CT scan. The data were so statistically convincing the trial was stopped and the results released.

The results demonstrate that such CT screening could benefit older, high-risk patients, aid Dr. Denise Aberle, NLST national principal investigator for the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN).

“We have the potential to save thousands of lives,” if low-dose screening is implemented responsibly, and people with abnormalities are closely followed, Aberle said.

Trial participants smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years and had no symptoms or history of lung cancer. They were screened once a year for three years and followed for an additional five years.

“This is the first time that we have seen clear evidence of a significant reduction in lung cancer mortality with a screening test in a randomized controlled trial,” said Dr. Christine Berg, NLST project officer for the Lung Screening Study. “The fact that low-dose helical CT provides a decided benefit is a result that will have implications for the screening and management of lung cancer for many years to come.”

For more information on this visit:  http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/qa/2002/nlstqaQA

Interested in getting your own lung scan.  Call us for more information at 1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522.  Or visit our website.

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans and Lung Cancer. Tags: CT scan, lung cancer, and screening.
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Improve your heart disease risk

A new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC, April 12, 2011, Vol. 57:15) found that patients who had a screening CT scan of the heart which showed evidence of calcium in their coronary arteries made important lifestyle changes that helped lower their risk of having a cardiac event in the future.

A large number of studies have now shown that a Coronary Artery Calcium Score or CACS improves assessing a patient’s actual risk factors for heart attacks.

Canada Diagnostic has been providing Coronary Artery Calcium Scores since 2002.  This exam is quick, painless and provides some very important information that just might save your life.

Interested in learning more?  Click here or give us a call at 1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular and CT Scans. Tags: coronary calcium, CT, and heart scan.
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Painful Tendon that just won’t heal? PRP may be the answer!

Have you been suffering with chronic pain because of a tendon that just won’t heal?

There’s a new technique that uses your own blood to help heal the injury and eliminate your pain.

PRP – or platelet-rich plasma – is being used by sports medicine and orthopedic specialists to help heal chronic tendinopathies. Because tendons and ligaments have a limited blood supply, there are often not enough platelets to properly heal the injury.

PRP helps eliminate that problem, by providing a concentration of your own platelets directly at the injury site that may promote healing. As the tissue repairs itself, your pain gradually subsides and functionality is restored.

But, there is even better news!  An exciting new development in the world of PRP is called hcPRP or highly-concentrated platelet-rich plasma. Most PRP practitioners use a platelet concentration of 5 – 8 times the amount that normally circulates in your blood. With hcPRP, those concentrations are 25 – 45 times baseline PLUS, thrombin from your blood is added just as the hcPRP is injected. Thrombin helps activate the platelets so that they can be more effective.

Canada Diagnostic is now offering hcPRP injections at our Vancouver clinic. Our doctors use either an ultrasound or CT scanner to help them ensure that the hcPRP injection goes precisely where they want it to go – another way to ensure the treatment will be effective!

PRP / hcPRP is still considered investigational or experimental, but many of the scientific studies that have already been done show that PRP is very promising.

Visit our website or give us a call to find out more about hcPRP at Canada Diagnostic: 1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522

  Filed under: Categories: hcPRP, hcPRP, MSK, Orthopedic, PRP, PRP, and Sport Medicine. Tags: chronic pain, hcPRP, PRP, sport medicine, and tendinopathy.
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If its good enough for the President of the U.S……..

As part of his first annual comprehensive physical exam as Chief Executive, U.S. President Barack Obama underwent a Virtual Colonoscopy (VC) exam as a screen for colon cancer. 

Why did the President’s medical team choose a VC over a traditional colonoscopy?  The exam is safe, effective and does not require sedation or pain medication.  Because there was no sedation, the President was able to maintain presidential authority.  In contrast, when President George W. Bush had a traditional colonoscopy in 2007, because he had to undergo sedation, he had to transfer presidential authority for several hours to his Vice President.

You may not be governing one of the most powerful nations in the world, but knowing that a VC is the test of choice for someone who does carries a pretty strong message!

The Canadian Cancer Society advises that the death rate from colorectal cancer can be reduced significantly if patients get screened!

Colon cancer and cancer of the rectum usually begin as a small polyp. While most colon polyps are benign, some do become cancerous. Colon cancer symptoms may include a change in bowel habits or bleeding, but usually colon cancer strikes without symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get a colon cancer screening test, such as a Virtual Colonoscopy. If the cancer is found early, the doctor can use surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy for effective treatment.

For more information on Virtual Colonoscopy, click here QA – Virtual Colonoscopy  or call us at 1-877-709-8522

  Filed under: Categories: Colon Cancer and CT Scans.
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CCSVI – Different Approaches, Different Techniques

Yesterday, a symposium about the vascular theory of MS (aka CCSVI) was held in Brooklyn.  This is a pretty exciting development because it marks one of the first times the medical community–specifically interventional radiologists(IRs)–have come together to discuss CCSVI and its treatment.

In a nutshell, here’s what was concluded:  we are at the very early stages of our understanding of CCSVI–what it means, how to diagnose it and how to treat it.

Diagnostic radiologists, who read the MRI or Ultrasound images have remarked that diagnosing CCSVI is not a straightforward affair.  There are incredible subtleties that need to be understood and mastered for a diagnostician to conclude CCSVI is present. 

The IRs who have been treating CCSVI agree about the following:  treating CCSVI is not like anything they have been doing up to now.  It requires new skills, techniques and expertise.   The learning curve is steep. 

Where they disagree (but again, they are all “learning as they go”) is whether to balloon or stent, if they balloon, what size to use, and regardless of whether they balloon or stent, exactly where to do the repair.  Those are a lot of variables, and for patients being treated today, how will their IR’s choices affect their outcome? 

So where does this leave the MS community?  Every individual needs to make the choices that are right for them including whether to get imaged and treated.  Since the medical community who are currently working on CCSVI are still creating more questions than answers for themselves, we know that the right answers are going to take time and rigourous research.  An individual touched by MS might want to consider the pros and cons about acting now, or waiting a little while for more answers.

Here are a couple of terrific links:

The CCSVI Alliance is dedicated to educating patients with research-based information, providing tools for patients to advocate for themselves, and supporting medical professionals’ exploration of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI).  http://ccsvi.org/

And here are a list of questions to ask if you are considering getting tested or treated for CCSVI:  http://mssociety.ca/bc/education_consumer_questions.htm

These are exciting times, and each day as we learn more, we are closer to figuring out where CCSVI fits into the picture and how best to deal with it.

  Filed under: Categories: MRI Scans and Multiple Sclerosis.
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Announcing our new Medical Director!

Canada Diagnostic Centre is very pleased to announce that Dr. Audrey Spielmann is the new Medical Director for our clinic in Vancouver.  We have been working with Dr. Spielmann for many years and look forward to having her take on the role of Medical Director.

 Dr. Spielmann is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Department of Radiology and practices radiology at both Vancouver General and UBC Hospitals.

 She graduated from the University of British Columbia’s faculty of Medicine, where she also completed her radiology residency. She went on to complete further subspecialty training, an Abdominal Imaging fellowship, at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, USA.

 Dr. Spielmann has published on CT and MRI in the peer-reviewed literature with emphasis on liver, pelvic and musculoskeletal imaging and lectured nationally and internationally.  She is also a reviewer for national and international scientific journals.

 She has a special interest in MRI of the abdomen, pelvic, musculoskeletal system and sports medicine and is one of three radiologists at Canada Diagnostic Centres qualified to assess Breast MRI cases.

 We are also very happy to announce that our former Medical Director, Dr. Bruce Forster has just been named Chairman of Radiology at UBC Hospital & School of Medicine as well as Chief of Radiology at both Vancouver General and UBC Hospitals.

 Dr. Forster has been an invaluable contributor to Canada Diagnostic’s success by providing leadership, vision and a commitment to evidence-based medicine.  Congratulations Dr. Forster!

  Filed under: Categories: CDC News.
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What to look for in a Diagnostic Imaging Centre

We understand that you have choices when it comes to deciding where to go for your scan.  What should you consider when you are looking for an imaging centre?

Experience

Canada Diagnostic Centres opened the first private MRI in Canada in 1993.  Our Vancouver clinic has been open since 2000 and since that time we have scanned over 35,000 patients.  Our facility and our radiologists are well known in the medical community.

Medical Team

Radiologists are the specialists who interpret, MRIs, CTs and ultrasounds and provide your doctor with the results. 

Our clinic’s five radiologists are led by Dr. Bruce Forster, a Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Medicine at UBC and a practicing radiologist at UBC and VGH.  Dr. Forster is also head of the MRI fellowship program at UBC Hospital and Regional Head of MRI for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

 Our radiologists also bring a variety of sub-specialty skills to the clinic relating to musculoskeletal, neurologic and abdominal diagnostic imaging.  They use a team approach and are able to consult freely with each other in the event of challenging or difficult cases.  This depth and breadth of knowledge is a real benefit to our patients and their physicians.

Our entire team of radiologists actively participates in teaching of radiologists-in-training in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and is engaged in cutting edge imaging research.

The Right Exam for the Right Reasons

There are many considerations as to which exam is most appropriate for each individual case, and even how to structure each exam.  For that reason, our radiologists review and protocol all exam requests before we call you to book a scan.  If a different exam than the one ordered by your doctor would be more appropriate for you, our radiologists will let you and your physician know.  That way, we maximize the likelihood that we will get the answers you need and minimize the likelihood that you will need an additional, different kind of exam down the road

Equipment

Just like cars, advanced medical imaging equipment comes in different makes and models.  With MRI for example, there are many different configurations as to the size, shape and strength of machine. 

The strength of the magnets in an MR machine is measured in Tesla.  The most common strength machine is a 1.5Tesla and it is what you will find in hospitals and medical teaching facilities throughout Canada.  At our clinic, we operate a GE Signa 1.5T HDx(High Definition) MRI. 

CT scanners are described by the number of “slices” they have.  These are the number of simultaneous images the machine takes during one split-second rotation around the patient.  Our CT scanner is a 64-slice Aquilion 64-slice by Toshiba Medical.  64-slice scanners have made  high resolution visualization of the heart and coronary arteries possible.

Information

When you call an imaging clinic, is the staff helpful and informative?  Are they able to answer all of your questions?  Are you comfortable with what they are telling you?  If you need more information, are they able to provide it for you?  At Canada Diagnostic Centres, our staff is happy to answer all of your questions or provide you with information or materials you may find helpful.  If you prefer online research, our website is an excellent source of information.

 

 

Wait times

Do you need your scan done as soon as possible or would you like it next Tuesday afternoon to better fit your schedule?   At Canada Diagnostic Centres, we will do our absolute best to schedule your scan for a time and date that fits with your needs.  We will also be happy to coordinate the timing of your scan with specialist appointments or treatment you have scheduled. 

In addition, your scan will be reviewed and reported quickly.  You doctor will receive a report within one working day of the exam—in many cases, your doctor will receive the report within a few hours of your scan.  If your doctor requires results immediately, our radiologist will be happy to call and give a verbal report right away.

 

Cost

Prices for different scans vary depending on the complexity of the scan being done and the type of machine it is being done on.  A complete fee schedule is available on our website.  If you have any questions about what an exam would cost, please give us a call.

Our promise is to provide our patients and their physicians with the best in patient-focused, medically-principled diagnostic imaging.

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans, MRI Scans, and Ultrasound Scans.
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MRI and Ultrasound for CCSVI

April 7, 2010 – The MS world may be witnessing an historic breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of the disease with the connection that is now being made with venous problems and is being called Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI).  Every week, new information is coming out about:

  • what constitutes CCSVI
  • how CCSVI relates to MS
  • how to diagnose CCSVI
  • what to do about CCSVI.

 

The one thing that has become very clear is that it takes specialized equipment and specialized training for technologists and radiologists to accurately diagnose and evaluate CCSVI.  As of now, MRI and Ultrasound scanning techniques have not been standardized, so what is found on one scan, may not be found on another.  One of the first orders of business is to standardize diagnostic imaging techniques.

At Canada Diagnostic, we are following the developments very closely.  At this time, we are choosing not to provide any diagnostic tests for CCSVI.

The main reason that we are not providing this service is that we don’t feel we would be serving the patient population by charging them money to provide them with information that may or may not turn out to be accurate, given the state of flux that CCSVI imaging is in.

Additionally, we do not want to charge a fee for a test, results of which cannot be acted upon.  There is currently no place in Canada that is providing either balloon or stent venoplasty for MS.

While it is true that some people with MS are getting scans in Canada and then going overseas for treatment based on their scan results, the vast majority are staying home for the time being.  Whether one chooses to go overseas now, or wait for treatment to be available at home, you will be given another test (possibly another MRI or ultrasound and then Venography—the gold standard).  We can’t, in good conscience, charge you for a test that you will have to have done all over again.

In the meantime, we have chosen to support the comprehensive and exciting research that UBC is doing in this area.  We are confident that the research that they and others  throughout  the Canadian Network of MS Clinics are doing will yield really exciting news very soon.

  Filed under: Categories: MRI Scans, Multiple Sclerosis, and Ultrasound Scans.
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