Posts tagged ‘drs’

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 15, 2014

Prostate Health: 4 W’s + an H

Elderly_exerciseProstate health awareness is lagging in the national conversation and plaguing men in the United States. We’ve all heard the 1-in-8 statistic for women’s breast cancer… but do you know the number for men’s prostate cancer? Hold onto your hats: this is a 1-in-7 occurrence.

 

What do these numbers add up to? More than a quarter million men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and 30,000 will die from it.

Why is prostate cancer so serious? Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men (just behind skin cancer), and the second most common cancer-killer for men (just behind lung cancer). If signs and symptoms show up and are handled appropriately, a prostate cancer warrior can turn into a prostate cancer survivor – and join the 2.5 million healthy others in this country.

 

Who is at risk? The answer is every man. For better or worse, prostate cancer occurs mostly in men over the age of 65 (66 is the average age of detection) and is seldom seen in men under the age of 40. Though no one knows for certain what causes prostate cancer, there are certain risks to be aware of for prostate cancer:

 

Main risk factors for prostate cancer:

 

  • age over 60
  • African American men are more often affected and may have more serious (advanced stage) disease
  • genetics plays a role in prostate cancer in a small percentage of cases
  • family history, particularly if prostate cancer is present in a brother or father
  • family history when prostate cancer is seen in a brother or father before the age of 65 is even more important in risk
  • some studies have shown a link to higher consumption of red meat

 

Possible signs and symptoms:

 

  • Most men will be asymptomatic! Or..
  • Blood in urine.
  • Impotence.
  • Pain in bones of the back, chest and hips.
  • Trouble urinating.

Where do we go from here? Because early stages of prostate cancer are not associated with signs or symptoms, regular screenings are imperative. To understand your personal risk and to figure out what steps you should be taking, have a discussion with your doctor.

 

How do we look for prostate cancer? The screening tests include digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests. These two steps are the cornerstone of screening asymptomatic men for the disease. These should begin around the age of 50 for average risk men, possibly earlier for those at higher risk due to family history or for African American men. If either of the screening tests is abnormal, further evaluation by a urologist will likely follow. Prostate ultrasound and biopsy may be the next step. Prostate MRI may be indicated in some men as well, particularly for problem-solving complex cases.

 

For more information, here’s a link to the American Cancer Society prostate health site. Special thanks to Kansas City Urology Care for sponsoring the Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk!

(Image attribution: “Elderly exercise” by National Institutes of Health. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

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 8, 2014

7 Reasons Quitting Makes You a Winner


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Smoking by the numbers…

As physicians we want the best health for everyone. There are ways to work towards your best possible health including healthy diet and weight, regular exercise and getting regular screenings. Tobacco use has a huge impact on health, something we as radiologists see on a daily basis. Smoking kills. It’s an addiction, one of the hardest habits to break, but quitting IS possible and translates to immediate and long-term health benefits.

 

Just how bad is tobacco use?

 

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US.  Here are more shocking numbers about the impact of smoking:

 

  • 20.5% of men and 15.8% of women are current smokers.
  • 20% of deaths in the US are due to tobacco-related diseases.
  • 10 people die EVERY MINUTE from tobacco-related illnesses.
  • What kind of illnesses are related? Tobacco use is related to: cancer (lung, esophagus, oral, bladder and more), heart attacks, strokes, peripheral vascular disease, infertility, gum disease, emphysema, impotence and more!
  • Each puff of cigarette smoke contains 7,000 chemicals including 80 known to cause cancer. Did you know smoking brings carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and lead into your lungs with every puff?
  • 11% of pregnant women smoke during pregnancy.
  • Tobacco use contributes to 20-30% of low-birth weight infants and led to preterm delivery in 14% of newborns.

Sobering numbers and still only a small spectrum of tobacco’s impact. The bright spot is that smoking declined from 2005 to 2012 by nearly 3%.  Let’s keep that trend going by stamping out those butts. For more on taking the steps to quitting look here: http://smokefree.gov.

 

Now, on to a healthier you!

 

 

(Image credit: “Spitkid” by Opa – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

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 3, 2014

Head Aches and Head Issues #5: What Caused It?

Ice Cream Headache? by Citizen 4474 via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)Now that we’ve covered when not to image the head in case of aches, and what we do to image the head in case of aches… let’s talk about what causes those aches.

 

The biggest fear people have with overwhelming cranial pain is the dreaded T-word. In the vast majority of cases, relax – it’s not a tumor!

 

Instead, the list of causes can be quite long, which means there are many ways of handling pain before jumping into fear-mode. Which of the following common issues can cause headaches?

 

  • migraines
  • tension headaches
  • stress
  • exercise/sex
  • sinusitis
  • dehydration
  • infections – ear or brain (meningitis)
  • dental problems/TMJ issues
  • blood in the brain (from aneurysm or other bleed, or from trauma)
  • post-concussion

 

Answer? All of the above. So before you let your mind wander to a scary place, relax and know that your doctor can help you narrow down the cause of your headache. The treatment may be as simple as hydration by drinking some water, taking allergy medicine to open your sinuses, or perhaps a little deep breathing or meditation to manage stress. You might be surprised to find a little relief is just around the corner from all that racket in your skull. Talk to your healthcare provider about your headache and they can help guide you to potential treatments.

 

To learn more about the long list of potential causes of headaches and what can be done about them, check out great information from the Mayo Clinic, here.

 

 

(Image credit: Ice Cream Headache? by Citizen 4474 via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 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!