Aortic Aneurysm Screening Urged for Older Male Smokers

The US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF)have recommended that men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked should get an ultrasound to screen for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).

Why is screening important? Most AAAs are “silent” until they rupture and AAA ruptures are often fatal.

The Mayo Clinic defines an AAA as “An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. The aorta, about the thickness of a garden hose, runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. Because the aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding”

Screening for an AAA is an easy procedure – its simply an ultrasound of your abdomen, concentrating on the aorta. Canada Diagnostic Centres has been providing AAA screening since 2007 and patients often combine this screening test with our other screening exams for early detection of disease.

What about men over age 65 who have never smoked? the Task Force asks doctors to consider their patients on a case-by-case basis. Patients may have other risk factors which may suggest screening is a good idea, such as a family history of AAA, a history of other vascular aneurysms, atherosclerosis, obesity and hypertension.

Where does that leave women? The evidence isn’t in yet, but this is an area that is being actively studied. Risk factors should definitely be considered.

Should you get a screening ultrasound for AAA? Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and whether this exam is right for you. We would be happy to give you more information about the exam and the other screening tests we provide at Canada Diagnostic. Its easy to contact us at 604-709-8522, or toll-free at 1-877-709-8522. Prefer email? Please contact us at info@canadadiagnostic.com

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular, CT Scans, Early Detection, Heart Disease, Screening Exams, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: aneurysm, aorta, atherosclerosis, Private CT Vancouver, Private MRI Vancouver, private Ultrasound vancouver, and screening.
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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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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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