Finding and Treating Prostate Cancer Early

Learning that one has cancer is never an easy moment. Luckily with the advances and progresses in the oncology field, more people are learning what they can to do to treat and heal from their cancer.

When found in the early stages, one of the most treatable cancers currently is prostate cancer. With higher standards of preventative testing and more information readily available, more men are finding out that they have prostate cancer in its early stages. According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, excluding non-skin melanoma cancer, and is also one of the leading causes of cancer death in men. When prostate cancer is developing, men will sometimes notice bloody urine, difficulty with or frequency of urination as well as sexual dysfunction. Do not ignore these early symptoms for fear of judgment or embarrassment, as they can be the key to a successful treatment plan. If doctors determine that a man may have prostate cancer, his next step will likely include medical imaging and biopsy.

The best way to learn your potentiality or to keep oneself monitored for prostate cancer is to attend regular check-ups with your primary care physician, have PSA or prostate specific antigen tests performed, as well as maintaining regular prostate exams. If your doctor has determined that something may be problematic with your prostate, his first step may be to schedule an ultrasound imaging exam for further evaluation.

The civilian population believes that ultrasounds are a procedure relegated to expectant mothers, when in fact, both men and women can experience benefits from this kind of imaging. For men, ultrasounds can determine if there is a growth around the prostate, if the prostate gland is enlarged, or to help determine the cause of a male’s infertility. For men with the possibility of prostate cancer, having an ultrasound is the least painful and invasive way for doctors to exam the prostate. Because of the location of the prostate, physicians and technicians must insert the transducer wand rectally in order to produce the best images. Because an ultrasound exam creates real-time results, doctors will often use them to guide biopsy wands in preparation for surgery. While the procedure can be uncomfortable for some, understanding the invaluable information doctors glean from these exams is the key to staying calm and cool.

Beyond our ultrasound capabilities, recent reports indicate that using a 3T-MRI scan can eliminate the need for an endorectal coil while still conveying a strong probability of cancer cells in the prostate. Traditional MRI methods for finding prostate cancer call for the use of endorectal coils for clarity purposes and to use contrast material. Both of these experiences can be mildly uncomfortable for some patients. However, Doctors Imaging offers Diffusion Weighted MRIs which are extremely beneficial to both finding and treating prostate cancer. Diffusion MRIs work to track the movement of water through the body’s systems. As water moves through the body and prostate glands, doctors can monitor the path. When the water behaves in an unfamiliar way, your doctor will be able to focus to that region and find the cancer cells. Doctors Imaging first introduced the 3.0T MRI to New Orleans in 2006 and then developed protocols for 3T/ Diffusion Imaging scanning of the prostate. Doctors Imaging is also responsible for introducing prostate spectroscopy and dynamic contrast enhancement to the city, thus aiding in the successful treatment of hundreds of cases.

Are you concerned about the possibility of prostate cancer or disorder? You could head to a hospital to have the aforementioned procedures performed. However, you may not have access to the most-up-to-date medical imaging machinery and you may not be getting the best priced procedure either. Compare our prices and equipment to other facilities and hospitals in the New Orleans area and you will find that Doctors Imaging in Metairie is way ahead of the crowd with the Phillips 3D/4D Ultrasound machine.

Doctors Imaging works with several insurance providers and operates near East Jefferson Hospital, so feel free to compare our prices and our equipment to our competitors and see that Doctors Imaging is the choice you want to make for your medical imaging needs.

Prostate cancer should not have to be a death sentence. By keeping annual check-ups and having prostate exams, men can catch prostate cancer earlier and with expert treatment and equipment, prostate cancer can be a temporary condition.

For more about medical imaging, our equipment or prices, feel free to contact Doctors Imaging in Metairie at 504-521-6222 or check out our website’s interactive information.

The History of Medical Imaging

Medical imaging is a form of technology that has revolutionized the medical field in the past century.  With these new innovations, doctors were able to elevate the standard of practice and the experience of the patient. Now, areas of pain or trouble can be non-invasively examined and treatment can begin without the patient even needing to go under. But when did the innovation of medical imaging begin?

Read below to take a trip down memory lane and find out how the medical field and the technology industry have been working together to build a better, healthier world.

1895

Professor Wilhelm Röntgen accidently discovers the ability to look through the skin and see the bones of the body while performing experiments on another project. While working with a cathode ray generator, he noticed an image that was left when the cathode rays came into contact with the vacuum tube. He performed the first X-ray on his wife’s hand and even gave the technology the name we use today, calling this discovery “X” rays because they were unsure what exactly they were. This invention was eventually standardized by William Coolidge and his X-ray known as the “Coolidge tube” is what all modern X-ray machines are based from.  The first X-rays required at least 11 minutes of exposure to produce a quality image. Now X-rays take only a few seconds and they use about 2% of the radiation amount seen in the early 20th century machines.

1960s

The basics of sonar had been discovered and utilized during World War II as a form of maritime warfare. In the early 1960s, scientists discovered that sending sound waves into the body would bounce off the internal structures and then returned to the ultrasound machine to be reformatted into images for doctors to see. This allowed doctors to non-invasively search for tumors and other growths.

1970

Dr. Raymond Damadian discovers that different animal tissues emit different signals as well as that cancerous tissues take much longer to return the signal sent through them. This is the basis for magnetic resonance imaging. In 1977, Dr. Damadian created the first full body MRI machine which he named the “Indomitable.”

1972

The 1970s showed the first instance of computer technology mixing into the medical field with Sir Godfrey Hounsfield’s invention of the CT machine. He theorizes that you could see into an object if you took X-rays from different angles of the object through a machine that would appear as “slices” which could then be put together to form an image. With his idea he formed the first “axial tomography” machine which we now know as the CT machine. In 1979, he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and was later knighted by the British Royal Family.

Since then, all of these machines have entered into the digital age and are now updated with the latest technology available. This means that there is less potential risk for patients as well as a greater ability to diagnose and treat. If you have questions about medical imaging, speak to your radiologist about scheduling an appointment soon.

Looking for medical imaging in the Louisiana area? At Doctors Imaging, we’re Radiologists concerned with patient care. Meet our Radiologists here.

What Can I See With My 4-D Ultrasound?

The advancements made in ultrasound technology have come such a long way in the last ten years. Where we could only make estimations concerning sex, congenital deformities, or health risks before, now with the advent of the 4D ultrasound, doctors and expectant mothers can learn so much more. With 4D ultrasounds, the question shifts from what can you see into what can’t you see?

The traditional two-dimensional ultrasounds use high frequency sound waves to create slices of a fetus and then shade them to make the image easier to see. Technicians and parents could only view the one slice of the image at a time and for some parents, the exhilarating feeling of finally seeing your child was dampened because of the low-quality images. While this technology was sufficient for determining the proper growth, placement and sex of an unborn child, there are other conditions that could not be determined until the child was born.

Today however, with the use of 3D and 4D ultrasounds (like the ones in use at our facilities), doctors are better able to diagnose certain conditions and features. 3D ultrasounds take a catalogue of echoes using sound waves produced by the transducer (ultrasound wand) and then combines the images in a digital bank to create a more detailed image. With 3D ultrasounds, doctors can determine so much more than just the sex of a child. Facial features like eyes, nose and lips can be seen. Mothers can count the fingers and toes of their child. But most importantly, physicians can see conditions like cleft lip, the possibility of Down’s Syndrome or other external abnormalities in the fetus.

The difference between a 3D and 4D ultrasound is that a 3D ultrasound is just a singular photograph. A 4D ultrasound combines the image as well as movement so it becomes similar to a short movie for the mother and doctor. With 4D ultrasounds, mothers can see their child’s movements in real-time.

Perhaps it is the clarity of the image or just finally seeing your child’s face, but having these imaging procedures done may promote healthy bonding for the mother and the health of the child.

If you’re looking for ultrasound services in the New Orleans or Metairie, Louisiana area, get in touch with us at Doctors Imaging. We’re radiologists concerned about quality patient care. To make your appointment, either call 504-833-8111 or use our online scheduling form.

Pregnancy and Ultrasounds: Benefits and Innovations

Pregnancy is a joyful time in any woman’s life and also one of the most nerve-wracking. By reading all the books and heeding all suggestions from your doctor, you can help to ensure the safe delivery and future of your unborn child. One tool that your obstetrician will recommend often is an ultrasound procedure. Ultrasounds are effective for examining unborn fetuses because of the non-invasive nature of the procedure as well as the extent of what ultrasounds can reveal. Ultrasound may be done frequently, at the beginning of every trimester. If you have a pre-existing or gestational condition that requires additional medical attention, you’ll want to talk to your specialist concerning your specific situation.

Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images of the interior happenings of the body. Ultrasounds are useful in determining pregnancy as well as in diagnosing infertility problems. There are several types of ultrasounds that can be performed. If you believe you may be pregnant or are having difficulty becoming pregnant, your doctor may order a transvaginal ultrasound to be performed. A transvaginal ultrasound is useful in examining the reproductive organs such as the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes and observing processes like ovulation and implantation. Ultrasounds can also determine abnormalities like ovarian cysts or uterine tilting. If you are currently pregnant, your doctor will most likely perform a traditional, exterior ultrasound on the pelvic region.

Traditional ultrasounds display the interior of the body in flat, darker sections. Now, there are more innovations in the field of pregnancy, and ultrasounds have been upgraded so much that an expectant mother can even determine the facial structures of her baby. Mothers are offered three-dimensional ultrasounds that can translate sound waves to a higher degree into 3-D images. There are even four-dimensional ultrasounds that offer 3-D images in motion. Learning a child’s sex or determining size has never been easier.

Having these ultrasounds performed can be extremely helpful for nervous, expectant mothers. Now doctors are better equipped to give medical advice, determine any pre-natal deficiencies, congenital disease as well as foresee difficult pregnancies and deliveries. Ultrasounds are relatively non-invasive and are often the first line of defense your doctor will recommend if there is any concern or question you have regarding your pregnancy. If you are a high-risk pregnancy, regular and detailed ultrasounds can be the best tool in keeping the health of baby and mother monitored. If you are hoping to become pregnant, ultrasounds are a great feature of medical imaging facilities to help determine any problem areas or conditions that may be preventing pregnancy. Knowing your body and being aware of the progression of your pregnancy can help to calm nerves and increase the excitement for the new addition to your family.

Looking for ultrasound procedures in the New Orleans or Metairie, Louisiana area? Click here to schedule your ultrasound procedure appointment today, or you can always make an appointment by calling 504-883-8111.

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!