Blog - October 2018

Happy Haunting!

Posted on October 31, 2018 in mammography

 

Remember, Breast Cancer Awareness Month may be ending, but our commitment to the best in breast health does not stop!

Happy Haunting! 

 

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New grant provides mammograms for uninsured women in the metro

Posted on October 24, 2018 in mammography

Susan G. Komen®, in partnership with Diagnostic Imaging Centers, P.A., today announced a renewed grant to help provide screening mammography to uninsured women around the Kansas City metro. “We’ve been able to more than double our investment this year, bringing the total to spend on this potentially life-saving screening to more than $59,000 for the year,” said Michael A. Levine, interim executive director of Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City.

 

The grant is a combination of funds from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and a private fundraising event, which earmarked the raised dollars for use on the mobile mammogram coach.

 

In Kansas City, about 60% of women who should be screened are getting their mammogram every year.  Increasing the number of women being screened is a goal of both Diagnostic Imaging Centers and Komen Kansas City. Early detection is still our best defense against this disease and for women over 40; mammography is a key part of early detection. With the mobile mammogram coach, Diagnostic Imaging Centers is able to reach many women who might otherwise not get screened. Bringing the coach to women across our city and beyond addresses issues with time, availability and transportation. With the help of the Komen grant, we are also able to reach women without insurance or other coverage, further breaking down barriers.

 

Women who will be eligible for this funding are 40 years or older and do not have insurance. “We are grateful for the continued collaboration with Komen Kansas City and are thrilled that this coming year even more women will be able to undergo potentially life-saving screening,” said Dr. Linda Harrison, Radiologist, Diagnostic Imaging Centers, P.A.. “We are reaching women who otherwise feel they have no options – truly rewarding and a step forward in our fight against this disease.”

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To shield, or not to shield, during your mammogram?

Posted on October 11, 2018 in mammograhy

As radiologists, it is part of our training and responsibility to make sure the studies we perform on our patients are done in the safest possible manner. This means a constant review of our procedures and techniques. When the examination is a SCREENING study - like mammography or low-dose CT chest to screen for lung cancer - this means we must adhere to strict guidelines for the amount of radiation dose the patient gets, as these screening tests are intended to be repeated yearly.

 

So, for our mammogram patients, we always use the lowest dose possible.

 

Some may wonder (especially after a certain doctor, on a certain national show, raised an issue!), should I be concerned about the radiation dose to other parts of my body from my screening mammogram? In particular, the concern raised in this show (and repeated on Facebook!!) was for the thyroid gland.

 

Let us reassure you that the radiation dose to your thyroid when you have your mammogram is tiny.

 

The dose from the mammogram itself is tiny. When we discuss radiation dose, it is sometimes helpful to compare it to natural background radiation, which we all receive just from living on planet Earth. The average dose from a mammogram is equal to around seven weeks of natural background radiation. A tiny amount, which has been shown to be safe and to be safe to have repeated yearly over your lifetime.

 

The amount of radiation that reaches other body parts during your mammogram is even tinier. The radiation is focused on the body part being examined, so the only radiation to other body parts is what we call scatter radiation.

 

The amount the thyroid receives during a mammogram has been studied and is estimated to be about the same as thirty minutes of natural background radiation. !30 minutes!

 

The radiation dose is so low to your thyroid, special protection during your mammogram is not needed. In fact, the shields are not designed to be used with a mammogram and in some patients may actually interfere with the study. If they do, there is the potential for a higher radiation dose if any of the images have to be repeated.

 

So, have your yearly screening mammogram and rest easy. We, as your radiologists, are committed to your safety and good health.

 

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