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Wake Radiology is local and locally owned.
Wake Radiology Screenings for Adults
As people get older, they are at greater risk for certain conditions or diseases. In addition to the aging process, heredity and lifestyle choices impact their risk for heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Screenings, especially those using imaging technology, can look inside the body and give physicians the valuable information they can use to identify or control serious medical problems.
Wake Radiology offers a full line of screening studies to referring physicians and their patients. These include breast cancer screening with 3D mammography, bone density studies (DXA), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) ultrasound screenings, CT coronary calcium scoring, colon cancer screenings and CT lung cancer screenings as well as cutting-edge Amyvid PET-CT studies that can help rule out Alzheimer’s disease.
Review Wake Radiology’s Screenings
3D Annual Mammography Screening
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. A mammogram can detect cancer early when it is most treatable. Even though this is the case, nearly a third of American women currently do not get regular mammograms. Screening mammograms do not require a physician’s order. Wake Radiology simply requires that eligible patients have visited their physician within the past 18 months. Wake Radiology offers 3D mammography at all Wake Radiology locations throughout the Triangle.
Annual Screening Mammograms for Women 40 and Older
Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer (for example, because of a family history of the disease or because they carry a known mutation in either the BRCA1 or the BRCA2 gene) should talk with their primary care physician or radiologist about whether to have mammograms before age 40, when to start and how often to have them. A common rule of thumb is to start annual diagnostic or screening mammograms seven to ten years prior to when the first-degree relative was diagnosed with pre-menopausal breast cancer or at age 30 for BRCA carriers (can be a combination of MRI/mammograms).
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Ultrasound Screenings (AAA)
Men – especially those over 65 – are four+ times more likely than women to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). These aneurysms usually occur in the aorta, just below the kidneys. Early on in their development, patients will not notice any pain or discomfort. As they enlarge, however, patients may have intermittent back or abdominal pain. Larger aneurysms can burst and lead to death within a few minutes. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screenings use ultrasound to easily detect these aneurysms. Referring providers and their patients use the results to determine how best to monitor (e.g., with subsequent ultrasound studies) or manage it (e.g., catheter procedure, surgery or medication). The risk criteria include:
Bone Density Scans for Adults (DXA)
25 million Americans have osteoporosis, nearly 80% of which are women. Said another way, 1 in 4 women has osteoporosis, making them 10 times more likely to suffer from this disease than men. The determining risk factors include:
In the past, osteoporosis could be detected only after patient broke a bone. By that time, however, the bones could be quite weak. A bone density test (DXA) is a non-invasive, accurate and inexpensive way to know a patient’s risk of breaking bones before the fact. It uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are located in the spine, hip and forearm. The procedure takes 15-30 minutes and requires a signed physician referral. Wake Radiology is the only imaging group in the Triangle to be certified by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) for bone density exams. All DXA studies are read by fellowship-trained orthopedic radiologists who are ISCD certified.
Colon Cancer Screenings: Barium Enemas
Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed malignancy in developed countries and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women. Symptoms of colon cancer include:
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal cramping
- Intestinal blockage or change in bowel habits (usually unnoticed until the disease has progressed)
Early-stage colon cancer is curable, which makes screening and early diagnosis important. Pre-cancerous growths found during screening can be removed before they develop into cancer. The American Cancer Society risk factors include:
- Age (>90% of those diagnosed with colon cancer are over age 50)
- Colorectal polyps
- Family history of colon cancer
- Personal history of colon cancer
- Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease
- Diets high in fat and low in fiber, or high in processed meats
- Obesity and/or physical inactivity
- Heavy alcohol use
Wake Radiology performs barium enema exams for patients who cannot tolerate the sedation required for colonoscopy. The procedure uses barium to provide contrast inside the colon. X-rays can reveal polyps or other abnormalities. Most patients easily undergo this exam and there is often no recovery required.
CT Coronary Calcium Scoring
Nearly 1.5 million Americans will have a heart attack this year and one third of them will die. Half of patients suffering their first cardiac event will have no prior warning or symptoms and more than 80 percent of high risk patients will have a “normal” result on a standard treadmill test. CT coronary calcium scoring is the single most accurate assessment of heart attack risk. This painless, non-invasive test is endorsed by the American Heart Association and is the only non-invasive method that can directly identify atherosclerotic plaque buildup in the coronary vessels. CT images show all calcified plaques in the coronary arteries. The total amount of disease (plaque) is calculated to determine the calcium score, which accurately predicts a patient’s probability of heart attack over the next few years. The calcium score allows referring physicians to aggressively treat their patients who are discovered to be at high risk. While calcium scoring can be useful for patients thought to be at low, intermediate, and high risk for coronary artery disease, it is typically recommended for men over age 45 and postmenopausal women more than age 55 who also have one or more major risk factors for heart attack:
- Elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol or low HDL (good) cholesterol
- A premature family history of heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Cigarette smoking
CT Lung Cancer Screenings
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death from cancer in this country. Individuals at high risk for lung cancer now have access to a low dose, low cost screening procedure. Because CT scans can depict tumors significantly smaller than 1.0 centimeter in size, we have the potential to detect lung cancer in its very early stages before disease progression. This highly sensitive, low dose, CT scan of the chest targets the lung fields only. No special preparation is required, and patients can be in and out of our office in approximately 20 minutes.
PET-CT Amyvid Studies to Help Rule Out Alzheimer’s Disease
Wake Radiology physicians are among the first in the area to interpret cutting edge Amyvid (florbetapir) PET-CT studies that can help rule out Alzheimer’s Disease. Amyvid is the first FDA-approved agent for PET-CT brain imaging of amyloid plaques in patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s and other causes.