Avoiding Bone Cancer and Maintaining Bone Density

Our bones are our foundation and yet so many forget their importance. Despite their high importance to the body, bones can be fragile. They can be easily fractured, broken, moved out of place and can lose their density with age, disease and lifestyle choices. One major concern for the bones is the development of bone cancer.

Bone cancer is not a common cancer. Bone cancer affects about 3,000 people a year but if caught early enough and the patient does not have other health concerns, the five year survival rate for bone cancer is about 70%. Cancer can begin in almost any bone which means that having immediate check-ins with your doctors and X-rays where you have symptoms is the best way to make sure that you do not have to suffer through advanced bone cancer.

Bone density is another major concern for doctors because so many people participate in density-depleting activities and do not give their bone health the attention they deserve. Your bones are the foundation for your body, what you use to move and function in our daily lives. Sure lots of people know that calcium is good for your bones. But did you know that your body stops acquiring calcium after 30 years of age? And for women this can occur even earlier and have a higher effect because of breast-feeding. Smoking cigarettes not only destroys your lungs but it eradicates much of the calcium out of your bones. Excessive drinking is also disruptive to the calcium in your bones as well as high consumptions of soft drinks.

One of the best things you can do to promote bone health is physical exercise along with drinking milk or taking an everyday calcium supplement. Another great way to keep your bones in tip-top shape is focusing on your nutrition. Foods like yogurt, broccoli and spinach are all great for building strong bones and maintaining as much calcium as possible. Avoid soft drinks and energy drinks as well. Excessive caffeine can be detrimental to bone health. Sodas contain high levels of phosphate which binds to calcium in the digestive tract and reduces the amount of much-needed calcium that is absorbed. Then calcium is released into the bloodstream to balance the amount of acid caused by phosphates in the bloodstream.

Bone health is a concern for both men and women. Because the body reaches it maximum bone density in the mid to late 20s, once that time has passed it becomes much more difficult to incorporate calcium back into the bones. Women begin losing bone mass after menopause has begun at a fast rate and because men have more of the hormone testosterone so they also begin losing bone mass but  later. Testosterone can be damaging to the body, especially to bone density, which is why men who take testosterone supplements should be very aware of the potential risks both now and in the future.

Keeping your bones healthy should be one of your highest concerns, you are going to need them for a long, long time. So be sure that you pay attention to your nutrition, lifestyle choices and get X-rays performed if you are concerned about bone cancer or your bone density.

There is no need to set up a specific appointment if you just need an X-ray. Just come by with your doctor’s order. You can visit the X-ray Services Page of Doctors Imaging or you can call our offices at 504-833-8111.

Checking on Your Bone Health with Medical Imaging

Bones are the foundation of the human body. When our bones hurt or are out of commission, your quality of life quickly decreases. That is why it is so critical to be concerned with the condition of your bone health. Almost every person has broken a bone at least once in their lifetime and is aware of the frustration that comes with being incapacitated, but what about the changes that occur in bones as you age?

People are often concerned with their physical appearance and the health of organs like the heart and liver. While this is equally important, not taking the proper precautions to protect your bones will have serious effects as you become older. Men and women will both experience the loss of bone density throughout their respective lifetimes but the effects are quite different for both genders.]

Bone Health for Men and Women

Women typically suffer from bone degeneration at a rate four times higher than their male counterparts. For women, the common cause of bone density loss is related to the effects of menopause. The body needs estrogen to maintain bone density and when women experience the hormonal change of menopause, they begin losing estrogen. Men need estrogen as well to keep their bone health at its peak and their body creates smaller amounts of estrogen.

Although men do not go through as severe as of a hormonal change as women, they do lose testosterone as they age and thus, lose bone density. Women also typically live longer than men so they have a greater chance of developing bone density loss.

Other Causes for Bone Density Loss

These are the primary reasons for loss of bone density but there are other causes. Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can cause a loss of bone mass as well as lifestyle choices such as smoking or lack of exercise. For men in particular, certain drugs that treat prostate cancer and seizures can also cause bone loss.

If you are getting older and are concerned with the state of your bone health, there are a few solutions you should be researching. Medical imaging procedures can provide you with invaluable information about your bone health. Osteoporosis affects over 40 million Americans, both male and female, and having procedures like X-rays and MRIs can be extremely beneficial in preventing debilitating injury and finding medication to assist with bone density.

MRIs or magnetic imaging resonance, uses magnetized equipment and computer technology to examine joint and musculoskeletal disorders in the body. In addition, MRIs are also proficient in examining soft tissue like tendons, ligaments and cartilage. As these are the support system for the bones, they need attention as well. MRIs are the best choice if you experiencing a decrease in mobility and spinal difficulties.

X-rays are another common medical imaging procedure that your doctor will likely prescribed if you are experiencing a loss of bone density. When you have decreased bone density, small fractures and breaks can be common, so having X-rays performed with regularity is recommended. X-rays are also the preferred method for determining conditions like bone cancer.

If you are over the age of 50 and experiencing pain or decreased mobility in your bones or joints, speak to you doctor about ordering an MRI and X-ray imaging procedure performed so you can see if you need further medical assistance.

Our Doctors Imaging center is for Radiologists concerned with patient care. If you’re looking for New Orleans, Louisiana imaging exams, then schedule your appointment online today, or call us at 504-883-8111.

I think I broke a bone. What test should I get?

Humans are not perfectly designed machines. They get sick, fall down and get broken quite easily and more often than they like. Getting broken bones is never fun. It’s painful, may require a hospital visit and can be uncomfortable for several weeks afterward. Auto accidents, sports, and falls are some of the most common ways breaks and fracture occur. Regardless of age, bone fractures and breaks are always alarming because if not properly examined, muscles, ligaments, and nerves can become damaged as well. So after the shock and the excruciating pain of a bone break fades slightly, here are the tests your Radiologist will schedule to determine the extent of your damage.

X-rays

X-rays are the oldest and one of the most commonly used forms of medical imaging. X-rays use small amounts of radiation aimed at the body and in turn, the excited atoms relay the location and density of the internal structures of the body to the X-ray machine. Most facilities and hospitals use digital X-rays today which have much lower doses of radiation if that is a concern of the patient. Bones in particular become very prominent when using this method of medical imaging. Radiologists use X-rays so they can clearly see the area that has been broken, if there is an object lodged within the area or for determining if a patient needs to have surgery. Radiologists will primarily use an X-ray when examining a bone breakage because of the non-invasive nature of the procedure. The most uncomfortable part of this scan will likely be remaining still and relaxed especially if it irritates the area with the bone break. But it is important for patients to remain as still as possible so the image is not distorted.

MRI

In addition to the X-ray, your Radiologist may schedule a CT or MRI to better look at a potentially broken bone. Is this a reason to become worried? Certainly not. Radiologists like to be thorough and patients usually appreciate the extra effort. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a procedure that is commonly used for musculoskeletal disorders and concerns. MRIs use magnetic and radio waves to create their images. There is no radiation used but once again the patient will have to lie down on an examination table in order to have the MRI performed. This can be painful but necessary because when a bone breaks, there can be other damages surrounding break site. In order to determine if there are any ligaments, tendons, or nerves damaged around the break, Radiologists need to see more than just the bone.

Having a broken bone will never be considered an enjoyable experience, but with the advances in medical imaging technology, Radiologists will have more detailed images to help heal their patients. If you have a fracture or break, be sure to ask your doctor if you need these procedures so that you can be sure your therapy and healing process can be completed as quickly as possible.

Did you break your bone in Louisiana? We’ll provide you with the imaging tests you need to know the full extent of your injury. You can schedule an imaging appointment online, or call 504-883-8111. We’re conveniently located in Metairie, LA.