CT Scans

What’s your risk of heart attack? Should you get tested?

CardioSmart, by the American College of Cardiology, has an excellent overview of a Coronary Artery Calcium Score test and some great advice as to whether you should get tested or not.

A coronary calcium scan checks for calcium buildup in the coronary arteries. Calcium in these arteries is a sign of heart disease. A high score on a calcium scan can mean that you have a higher chance of having a heart attack than someone with a low score.

The results of a coronary calcium scan may prompt you to make some lifestyle changes, such as exercising, eating better, and quitting smoking. But if you’re worried about heart disease, you can do these things even if you don’t have this test.

People who are at medium risk for heart disease will get the most benefit from this test. Medium risk means that you have a 10% to 20% chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years, based on your risk factors. You can be at medium risk and not have any symptoms of heart disease. Knowing your risk for a heart attack is a key part of your decision to get a scan. Take the online quiz here.

A calcium scan can give your doctor more information about your risk for heart disease. A high score might prompt your doctor to start or change treatment to help you avoid a heart attack.
You could get a high score from the test even if your arteries aren’t blocked. This could lead to other tests or treatments that you don’t need.

Not all blocked arteries have calcium. So you could get a low calcium score and still be at risk.

If a Calcium Score might be right for you, talk to your doctor. Canada Diagnostic has been providing Calcium Scores since 2002, and since 2007 we’ve been providing ultrasound scans of the carotid arteries which is another excellent screening exam for early signs of plaque build-up. You can learn more about our atherosclerosis screening exams on our website. Call us to find out more about both exams at 604-709-8522 or email us at info@canadadiagnostic.com.

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular, CT Scans, Early Detection, Heart Disease, Heart Scans, Screening Exams, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: atherosclerosis, Calcium Score, heart attack risk, heart disease, heart scan, Private CT Scan Vancouver, Private MRI Vancouver, and Screening Exams.
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Heading Soccer ball leads to brain injury

According to a study published June 11 in the journal Radiology, soccer players who frequently use their heads to field the ball have brain abnormalities that show up on MRI and that are similar to those found in people with traumatic brain injury.

Soccer balls can travel as fast as 50 miles per hour, and a player may head the ball up to a dozen times during a game.  During practices, it might be common to perform heading drills – where the ball might be bounced off of a player’s head several dozen times.  During the repeated impacts, the brain is accelerating/decerlating inside the skull.

We already know the effects of multiple concussions and how sports like north-american football are starting to grapple with those effects.  But what about impacts that don’t cause concussion like repetitive heading of a soccer ball?

Testing has shown that cognitive (memory) performance decreased in soccer players after a threshold of 1800 headings per year.  However, the changes seen in the brain on MRI show tissue changes that preceed cognitive decline at thresholds of 900 – 1500 headings per year.  The cumulative effects of repetitive minor injury might not be apparent for many years.

How can this type of cumulative brain injury be avoided?  One of the studies authors suggested that players heading counts be monitored and the players be given a recovery period once a certain number of headings has been reached.  Baseball does something similar with pitchers to save their arms/shoulders from permanent damage.

for more information about MRI, CT and Ultrasound services at Canada Diagnostic, please call us at 1-877-709-8522 or send us an email at info@canadadiagnostic.com.  You can also visit our website at www.canadadiagnostic.com.

  Filed under: Categories: Brain Scans, Brain Scans, CT Scans, Knee, MRI Scans, MSK, Orthopedic, Sport Medicine, and Sports Injuries. Tags: brain mri, head injury, MRI Vancouver, Private MRI Vancouver, and soccer injury.
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CT sees Twice the lung cancers of Xray

A new analysis of data from the landmark 2011 National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) found that low-does CT detected twice as many early-stage lung cancers as x-ray on initial screening.

The NLST found that participants who received low-dose helical CT scans had a 20.0 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer than participants who received standard chest X-rays.

You can read more here.

At Canada Diagnostic, we have been providing Screening Lung CT scans since 2002.  This exam may be right for you if you have a history of smoking or exposure to environmental risk factors (asbestos, desert living, second-hand smoke).  Please call us at 604-709-8522 to learn more, or visit our website.

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans, Early Detection, Lung Cancer, and Screening Exams. Tags: lung cancer, Lung Cancer Screening, Private CT, Private MRI, and Private MRI Vancouver.
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CT scans in children – is there an alternate test that can be ordered instead? What do you need to know?

A new study about childhood radiation exposure was presented this week in the British Journal of Medicine.

This excellent study reminds us that CT scans are still exceptional diagnostic tools, but that they are not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The increase I childhood cancers from exposure to CT scans is 25%.  That does not mean that one in four children who had had a CT scan will get cancer.  Here is an explanation from the study:But because the incidence of cancer in early life is very low this increased risk translated into only an extra six cancers over 10 years for every 10 000 young people who underwent computed tomography. Had they not had any scans, 39 cases of cancer would have been expected in this group
  2. Technology and reasons for using CT scans have evolved considerably since the study’s data cutoff of 2005.  Today’s scanners all have radiation dose reduction software and scan a very precise area of the body, both of which result in less radiation than previous types of CT scans
  3. The decision to give a CT scan to a child is one doctors make after very careful consideration.  A North American-wide campaign to “Image Gently” has resulted in a big shift in how and when CT scans are performed.  Here is one of the conclusions of the study:

Future CT scans should be limited to situations where there is a definite clinical indication, with every scan optimised to provide a diagnostic CT image at the lowest possible radiation dose.

It is important to note that the effects of radiation exposure in adults is less than that in children. An adult’s overall risk of getting cancer is affected by many things including age, lifestyle habits such as smoking and diet, and genetics. Based on current incidence rates, approximately 4 out of 10 Canadians will develop some type of cancer during their lifetime, regardless of exposure to medical radiation.  Read more here.

CT scans still remain an invaluable diagnostic tool.  For example, in trauma cases, these scans can be performed quickly and can establish what the injuries are – these can be life-and-death cases where time and information is of the essence.

Early detection of lung cancer is another area where CT shines.  See our next blog article where research has shown that CT scans detect twice as many lung cancers as chest xrays.

If you would like more information about CT, MRI or Ultrasound scans, or would like to know which type of scan might be best for you, please call us at 604-709-8522, email us at info@canadadiagnostic.com or visit our website.

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans and MRI Scans. Tags: CT Scans, MRI Scans Vancouver, and Radiation Exposure.
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10 Greatest Medical Inventions of the last 50 years – guess what tied for #1? CT & MRI!

According to healthexecnews.com, CT and MRI tie for the greatest medical inventions of the last 50 years.

The choice of MRI and CT as #1 reflects what an incredible impact these two technologies have made on the medical industry since their inception in the late 1970’s.  MRI and CT seem like standard procedures today, hinting at their significant impact on healthcare.

From screening for early disease detection, to detailed diagnostic scans, to monitoring treatment progress, MRI and CT have a role to play in just about every type of injury and illness.

At Canada Diagnostic in Vancouver, we’ve been offering MRI and CT scans since 2000.

The radiologists who interpret MRI & CT scans at Canada Diagnostic Centres all work, teach and do research at two of BC’s best-known teaching hospitals:  Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital.  What does this mean for our patients and their physicians?  Our radiologists are  at the forefront of the latest developments in advanced diagnostic imaging and read a high volume of specialized cases each year.

Our radiologists also bring a variety of sub-specialty skills to Canada Diagnostic relating to musculoskeletal, neurologic, breast and abdominal diagnostic imaging.  They use a team approach and are able to consult freely with each other in the event of challenging cases.  This depth and breadth of knowledge greatly benefits our patients and their doctors.

To learn more about the types of scans we offer at Canada Diagnostic, click here, or call us at 604-709-8522.

 

 

 

 

 

  Filed under: Categories: Colon Cancer, CT Scans, Lung Cancer, MRI Scans, MSK, Multiple Sclerosis, Orthopedic, and Screening Exams. Tags: CT, diagnostic MRI, early detection, MRI, Private CT Vancouver, Private MRI Vancouver, and screening CT.
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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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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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MRI shows fish-filled diet helps lower Alzheimer’s risk

A study presented at last months Radiological Society of North America’s annual conference suggests that that eating baked or broiled fish weekly can reduce the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, done by University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre researchers, included MRI imaging of the brain’s grey matter volume over a 10 year period. The study established a direct relationship between fish consumption, brain structure, and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Grey matter volume is crucial to brain health; when it increases, brain health is maintained.  Decreases in grey-matter volume indicate that brain cells are shrinking. 

Scientists think that the omega-2 fatty acids in the fish are benefitting the brain.  Baked or broiled fish deliver more omega-3’s to the brain than does fried fish.  Sadly, fish & chips aren’t the way to improve brain health!

The scientists found that having fish as little as once per week can increase brain grey-matter volume.  The main message of the study is that the more baked or broiled fish you eat, the more grey-matter volume you will have as you age.  Having more grey-matter in the future, will lessen your risk for Alzheimer’s.

Visit our website to find out more about MRIs, CTs and Ultrasounds.  http://www.canadadiagnostic.com/content/services/T_Scans.php

or call us at 604-709-8522

  Filed under: Categories: Brain Scans, Brain Scans, and MRI Scans. Tags: Alzheimer's, baked & broiled fish, brain health, and MRI.
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The benefits of CT Calcium Scoring keep making news!

American Heart AssociationCT Calcium Scoring broadens heart attack risk prediction – November 2011

LancetCoronary Calcium Scores are best for guiding statin therapy – August 2011

Journal of the American College of CardiologyMESA results confirm prognostic value of CT calcium scoring – July 2011

Journal of the American College of CardiologyCoronary Artery Calcium progression predicts mortality – December 2010

Journal of the American College of CardiologyAdding CT calcium scoring to traditional risk factors increases accuracy in determining which risk category a patient should be placed in – October 2010

If you are age 50+, consider a CT Calcium Score to help you and your doctor determine your best course of action.  Call us today at 1-877-709-8522 or email us at info@canadadiagnostic.com

 

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular, CT Scans, and Heart Scans. Tags: Calcium Score, Canada Diagnostic, Heart Scans, Private CT, Private MRI, and Vancouver.
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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

This month, the spotlight turns to Lung Cancer.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deathfor both men and women.  In 2011, an estimated 25,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 20,600 will die of it.  Up to 85% of all lung cancers are attributable to smoking.

If you are a smoker, or smoked in the past, you should consider a Lung scan at Canada Diagnostic as a screening test for the early detection of lung cancer.

Contact us today to book your scan.

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans and Lung Cancer. Tags: Lung Cancer Early Detection, Lung Cancer Screening, Lung CT, Lung Scans, and Screening Exams.
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