Posts tagged ‘cancer’

November 11, 2015

November Is Lung Cancer Awareness Month!

Sheer_w_gold_ribbon[1]November is lung cancer awareness month, highlighting the leading cancer killer of adult men and women. Over 150,000 deaths from lung cancer are estimated to occur in women and men in 2015 making lung cancer the leading cause of cancer deaths by far. Only 15% of lung cancers are found at a localized stage meaning low survival rates.

What are the facts about this killer?

  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of lung cancer. Around 90% of lung cancers are related to smoking.
  • Risk for lung cancer from smoking are related to the length of time and amount of smoking. Those who have smoked the equivalent of 30 pack years or more are at the greatest risk but even a history of 10 pack years of smoking means a higher risk of lung cancer.
  • Other risk factors include second hand smoke exposure, exposure to asbestos and exposure to radon gas. Family history may play a role in some.
  • Signs and symptoms from lung cancer are nonspecific, overlapping with many non-cancerous conditions and include: cough, shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing up blood.

What can we do to beat this killer?

  • Smoking cessation is key! If you smoke, your doctor has resources that can help you or your loved one quit.
  • Finding lung cancer earlier means improved survival.
  • Screening with low dose CT can lower the risk of dying from lung cancer with the largest study showing a decrease in the risk of death by at least 20%.

Who should undergo screening?

  • Current smokers or those who have quit smoking in the last 15 years.
  • Those who have smoked an equivalent of 30 pack years (for example, smoking 1 pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years, etc.).
  • Smokers aged 55-75.

Screening will occur with a low dose CT performed every year while criteria are met. Screening should be performed as part of a total program aimed at reducing the risk of lung cancer, meaning smoking cessation is a key part.

This November, let’s spread the word: lung cancer is a leading cancer killer, one which we CAN do something about. If you are at risk, get screened with low dose CT yearly and reduce your risk by joining the ranks of the non-smokers.

(Image credit: Sheer w gold ribbon by Niki K, copyright Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

October 13, 2015

Dr. Harrison Will Be Taking Your Calls on Dr. Mirabile’s Radio Show!

ASK-THE-DOCTOR-FINAL-BLACK-3[1]Great news! Our very own Dr. Linda Harrison will be the guest on Dr. James Mirabile’s radio show Ask the Doctor this Saturday, October 17th from 1-2p on KCMO Talk Radio (710 AM / 103.7 FM). We’re very excited about this!

This weekend’s show will also feature Carli Good, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City. Dr. Harrison and Ms. Good are friends and cohorts in the fight against breast cancer. The show will focus on Komen’s role in the community as well as barriers that keep women from getting life-saving breast cancer screening.

Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, both ladies have incredibly busy schedules. However, they are very happy to take some time out to answer your questions, and share some of what they’ve learned, in years of service to women’s health.

Please tune in! Please ask questions! Please have a wonderful weekend and take good care of yourself!

You can listen live here.

Submit your questions online here.

June 17, 2015

Knock Out Lung Cancer with Low Dose CTs

Patient-Flyer---Lung-CT-UMKC

April 14, 2015

We Love… KC C.A.R.E. One-Day Free Clinic!

the dr is inKansas City is hosting a FREE one-day clinic, open to all who need it. Here are the details:

For the medically underserved in the area, a team of local medical organizations including Diagnostic Imaging Centers is coming together to provide free healthcare on Saturday, April 18th at Bartle Hall from 10a-5p. No one will be turned away.

The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics in conjunction with the Kansas City C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic is bringing this special day to those in need in Kansas City. We are proud to be working with these great organizations.

At the C.A.R.E. Clinic, services offered will include: medical exams, medical tests (diabetes, cholesterol, pregnancy, HIV and EKGs), prescription medications, kidney screenings, and behavioral health care. Additionally, services to help with health insurance navigation, follow-up care, and health education are available that day.

While mobile mammography units will not be available on-site the day of the event, vouchers will be provided to women who cannot afford a mammogram with the vouchers providing a free mammogram at any of Diagnostic Imaging Centers’ six conveniently located outpatient offices.

The free screening mammogram vouchers are being provided thanks to our partnership with the Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation which is committed to “helping women survive.” The Foundation offers grants to clinics nationwide for screenings and mammograms for the uninsured and underinsured.

With scheduled or walk-in services and immediate results, Diagnostic Imaging Centers aims to take some of the frustration and worry out of breast imaging. Quick and easy, it’s approximately 20 minutes from check-in to check-out for a screening mammogram. Almost worry free!

To date, the Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation has helped over 11,000 women receive breast care since its inception in 2010. To learn more about their services, please visit www.breastcancersurvivor.org. Diagnostic Imaging Centers takes care of the women of Kansas City to the tune of over 50,000 mammograms per year- a number that has been steadily increasing over the last fifty plus years of service to our community.

More details about the C.A.R.E. Clinic can be found here. To learn more about breast health, visit www.mammographykc.com.

February 11, 2015

3D Mammography Is HERE!

February 9, 2015

Medicare: A Life-Saving Screening Now Covered

CT chestThis past week brought great news for Medicare patients! Medicare is now covering the cost of low-dose screening CT chests in selected patients. Screening with low-dose CT chest has been shown to save lives with the ability to diagnose lung cancer when it is small and more treatable.

Here are the details:

WHO is covered?

  •         Must be between 55 and 77 years of age
  •         Must be a current smoker or have quit smoking in the past 15 years
  •         Must have smoked the equivalent of 30 pack years (that means 1 pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years, or any other such combination)

WHAT steps are needed for coverage?

  •         Must have a  visit with their referring physician or nurse practitioner prior to the CT for “a shared-decision making/smoking cessation counseling session prior to being referred for their first screening exam.” This is not needed for studies after the first.
  •         Must have an order from the doctor or nurse practitioner.

HOW is the test done?

  •         This is a quick,  non-contrast CT of the chest done with low dose.
  •         This is part of a total program to reduce lung cancer risk, including the most important part – a goal of smoking cessation.
  •         The test is a screening test – meaning, if something is found (about 10% of the time) something else may be recommended – this could mean further imaging, including a CT chest with contrast, PET imaging or short-term follow up CT studies, or could mean a lung biopsy.
  •         This is intended to be repeated annually.
  •         Sites providing coverage must meet many requirements, including specifications on dose and follow-up of patients.

The possibility of decreasing the number of deaths from lung cancer by getting patients into a screening program is exciting.

 

If you or someone you know fits the above criteria, get an appointment with your doctor.  If it’s a loved one, you may be the voice that prompts their action!

 

Screening of smokers with low-dose CT chest is a huge leap forward in the fight against lung cancer.

 

 

 

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

November 3, 2014

Happy Monday After Halloween! Things Radiologists Find Scary…

Monsterhigh custom Skeleton&Frankie by gama__ via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Boo! Did we scare ya?

 

Happy Belated Halloween!

 

Friday was a great day for fun. Little princesses and cowboys  begging for candy and grown-ups telling ghost stories…

 

As radiologists who are used to sitting in dark rooms all the time, it takes a lot to spook us! We ain’t afraid of the dark…

 

We are afraid of some things though. So in honor of Spookiness Fest 2014 we list a few of our scariest things:

 

  • Skipping your annual mammogram! Fear, lack of knowledge of risk, denial – all can be scary reasons to keep women from getting screening that can save a life. Let a compassionate technologist hold your hand through the process. Know that if you have breasts you are at risk. Come to a place that will give you your results immediately so you don’t have to fret.

 

  • Ignoring unusual changes in your breasts. If something feels wrong, get it checked out. Lumps, skin changes like puckering, nipple changes, nipple discharge or leaking – all may be from benign, non-cancerous changes – but we can’t be for sure until you are evaluated.

 

  • Thinking one cigarette won’t harm you. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths and disease in our country. Cigarettes bring carcinogens of many types into your body, doing damage to your lungs, your blood vessels, your GI tract – your whole body. Don’t start smoking, and get help to quit if you do. If you have a long smoking history, see if you qualify for screening with low-dose CT.

 

  • Skipping out on doctor’s appointments. Being healthy requires vigilance. We doctors love to take care of people – we aren’t scary. Illness is.

 

  • Ignoring or not knowing your numbers. Know your resting heart rate, your body weight and BMI (get up off the couch! french fries don’t count as veggies!), your blood pressure, your cholesterol and glucose levels. If they are in the green zone – great! If they are in the scary zone, your medical team can help you fix it!

 

Missing opportunities to take care of yourself – that’s what we find scary! We love our patients and love to see them love themselves. When you take a stand for your best possible health, there’s nothing to be afraid of!

 

 

PS That’s a picture of us… after a long day in the reading room at our office…we promise we aren’t usually that scary!

 

 

(Image credit: Monsterhigh custom Skeleton&Frankie by gama__ via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

 

 

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

September 22, 2014

We Love… Prostate Cancer Networking Group!

PCNGWe love Prostate Cancer Networking Group… and we think you should like them too!

 

In Kansas City, this wonderful organization seeks to help:

 

Men who have, or have had, prostate cancer give valuable support to others through their involvement with the prostate cancer networking group.  Just as men have received support from this group, they can in turn offer other patients and their families patience, strength, and endurance through their experiences with diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

 

Isn’t that just what the doctor ordered? Cancer care reaches far beyond treatments and deeply into the lives of those affected by it.

 

Emotional support isn’t spoken of nearly often enough when it comes to the Big Battle – partly because patients are so focused on physical well-being that repercussions elsewhere in life fall second to simple survival. But to live the best possible life during and after cancer is our wish for all those who fight… and the Prostate Cancer Networking Group is here to fill that gap!

 

As doctors, our biggest hope is to see and end to cancer entirely.  Until then, we work as a team providing care and support needed. Everyone deserves a guide on the road to their best possible health and we appreciate Prostate Cancer Networking Group for filling that role for men with prostate cancer!

 

PCNG meets regularly:

We invite all prostate cancer survivors, their partners and those helping in the fight to join us.”

Meetings held 3rd Wednesday, monthly 6:30 – 7:30 PM

Gilda’s Club Kansas City 21 West 43rd KC, MO

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

September 19, 2014

Pattern Baldness: Prostate Indicator Light?

Larry David at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)If the trashcan is tipped over AND you see the dog racing out of the kitchen, you may assume that one caused the other to happen. It’s a common way of looking at the world.

 

However, the dog may just be chasing a naughty four-year-old from the room… IF something happens about the same time as something else, did one cause the other?

 

In medicine, studies ask this question all the time.

 

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests there’s a relationship between a specific type of baldness and aggressive prostate cancer. This study proves a relationship, but does not answer the question of cause.

 

As with too many cancers, we don’t know what causes prostate cancer, but we can identify risk factors (age and family history most importantly). This study newly identifies baldness as a risk factor for prostate cancer. With certain types of baldness, the risk of aggressive prostate cancer was increased by 39%. That’s a big increase!

 

What type of baldness was associated with this significant increase in cancer risk? So called male pattern baldness is the type associated with prostate cancer risk. This is the type of baldness you most often associate with older men – hair loss at the crown of the head in conjunction with a receding front hairline. So, should this type of hair loss send you running to the oncologist’s office? No. But knowing the risk of prostate cancer is increased should mean increased vigilance. Regular screening exams are important for those at high risk – and that’s the most important takeaway from this study.

 

No matter what, embrace the hair you have (or don’t) and take care of the rest of your body too. That’s how you stay on the road to your best possible health!

(Image Credit: Larry David at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0))

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

September 17, 2014

There’s a Better Way To Calculate Body Fat (and We’ve Got It!)

3D-printed Laughing Buddha (right) by Digital Nuisance via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)Obesity and its negative effects on our collective health has been covered repeatedly in the news. There are ways of defining being overweight or obese, most based on height, weight and body mass index (BMI). Body composition is another means of analyzing percentage of body fat, and another tool to help guide and follow treatment.

 

Let’s start with the numbers: accurate weight and height are a starting point. Getting your body mass index (which you can do here once you have your height and weight) is helpful in determining whether your weight is appropriate for your height. But to be truly accurate about weight, body fat and its affect on health, knowing what percentage of your body tissue is fat specifically can be helpful. Here is where radiology can help: DEXA is the most accurate means of assessing body composition.

 

DEXA is known most commonly for measuring bone mineral density. This can identify those with osteoporosis or those beginning to show signs of bone loss. Knowing your bone mineral density is increasingly important with age, and preventing fractures is a goal.

 

DEXA (or Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry if you want to know the words behind the acronym) is the most accurate method of assessing body composition. A DEXA scan is a medical test and is considered the Gold Standard in body composition testing with over 99% accuracy. This imaging technique using low dose x-rays can evaluate bone density, fat density and lean body mass. DEXA gives a total picture of body composition, useful for planning a course of action and then seeing the success (we’ll think positive!) of those actions.

 

Eating well, exercising regularly, talking to your doctor or consulting with a dietician are all actions that can help you on the way to better numbers. Decreasing body fat percentage while maintaining healthy lean body mass is the goal. Decreasing body fat percentage is as significant as overall weight loss to your health.

 

So start with your numbers and move from there. You have the power to get yourself on the road to your best possible health! And we’re happy to help in any way we can, from sharing healthy recipes to exercise tips and tricks to advising you on your DEXA scores to cheering you on and educating you along the way! If you follow us on Pinterest you’ll see more ideas everyday!

(Image attribution: 3D-printed Laughing Buddha (right) by Digital Nuisance via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!