How Can MRI Scans help prevent cancer?

Medical technology has come incredibly far in the last century. One of the best inventions made in the medical field is the MRI machine. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and is one of the best diagnostic tools your doctor can use to determine treatment options. MRIs are used for a variety of reasons but how can they be beneficial for those trying to prevent or treat cancer?

MRI machines use magnetic fields and radio frequencies to capture images of the internal structures of the body. Because they do not use radiation, it is safe to use on any part of the body as well as children. If you want to know if you have a possibility of cancer or a tumor present, your doctor will likely order this imaging test for you. The most frequent use of MRI today is the evaluation of spine and joint problems.

MRIs are extremely beneficial for seeing into the various tissues such as heart, brain and abdomen and will be used to highlight the possibility of cancer. You will be asked to lie down on the machine’s table and then you will be slowly moved into the magnetic chamber. The test can take some time but most importantly, you must remain still so that the doctor can obtain the highest quality images.

While MRIs won’t themselves prevent cancer from forming, they can produce the best quality images for your doctor to decide if you are high-risk for cancer or if there is already a tumor forming. For some MRI exams, the doctor may tell you that contrast material needs to be administered. This will either be done through an IV or by drinking the contrast material. Contrast material is sometimes a necessary instrument for doctors to get better detail from your MRI results. Contrast material can highlight a tumor or abnormality that may have been hidden or too small to see in prior tests. If you have problems with kidney function be sure to let your doctor know prior to taking contrast fluid. If your kidneys cannot filter out the contrast material, there may be complications.

Unfortunately, medical technology has only found a handful of ways to prevent a handful of cancers, but having the availability of medical imaging procedures like MRIs performed easily can make it so that you know immediately if there something dangerous or suspicious.

If you have questions or concerns or want to set up an MRI appointment in the Metairie, Louisiana area, just give us a call at 504-883-8111, or schedule your MRI online.

What Imaging Procedures Should Men Over 50 be Considering?

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for men over the age of 50 in the United States. Whether this is because of genetic defect, health condition or lifestyle is unclear, but what is perfectly clear is that these two conditions account for more than 45% of the deaths of men between the ages of 45 and 54 (and that number increases to 53% for ages 65+). It is an unfortunate fact that everyone gets old, but more so, visits to your physician can become critical and significant visits if the proper procedures are not performed. If you are nearing or over 50 years of age, even if you feel that you are in good health, discussing these procedures with your doctor can be a great preventative measure to keep you healthy and fit longer.

Your first line of defense in medical imaging procedures could begin with a chest X-ray. X-rays may seem like an archaic medical practice but they are effective in determining many conditions in the chest. A chest X-Ray is inexpensive and may unveil correctable conditions that improve your health. If you are a heavy smoker between the ages of 55 and 80 a low dose lung cancer  CT screen is now considered essential to save lives .

An ultrasound is also a prudent procedure that men over the age of 50 should consider having. Ultrasounds are useful for examining the internal organs and blood flow throughout them. Ultrasounds are used in examining areas like the thyroid and scrotum. In determining conditions like prostate growth or enlargement, ultrasounds may be the first procedure your doctor will order. Ultrasounds are usually painless and non-invasive.

Men over 50  may benefit from a having a CT CALCIUM SCORE TEST. Whether you have lived a healthy, active lifestyle or you spend most of your time eating cheeseburgers and soda, a chest CT scan can be a huge indicator of serious medical problems such as heart disease and cancer. CT scans can help determine problems such as heart tumors, coronary heart disease, and the vascular abnormalities that can lead to heart attack and stroke.

MRIs can provide additional detailed information regarding tumors and cardiovascular disease. MRI scans of the heart structures and blood flow to the surrounding organs can highlight areas containing blockages or diseased tissue. You may feel fine now, but inside, you could be a ticking time bomb and having these procedures done will help to show areas that require attention. A fear of medical procedures, because you’re worried bad news will come back, does not help the situation. Instead, think about how something unfortunate, when caught early enough, can be treated to keep you healthier and happier for years, if not decades longer.

If you’re a man over 50 who hasn’t had imaging procedures performed yet, take the time today to discuss preventive health with your doctor and make an appointment. It just might save your life!