We are giving ourselves cancer
The New York Times
Despite great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: We are silently irradiating ourselves to death.
The use of medical imaging with high-dose radiation — CT scans in particular — has soared in the last 20 years. Our resulting exposure to medical radiation has increased more than sixfold between the 1980s and 2006, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements. The radiation doses of CT scans are 100 to 1,000 times higher than conventional X-rays.
Heart Hospital team performs first-of-its-kind procedure
Joe Sanchez, a jocular 84-year-old retired U.S. Army lieutenant, was vacuuming inside his New Mexico home on the hot, sunny afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 13, while Sally, his wife of more than 60 years, was dusting in the kitchen and living room.
Suddenly, Joe experienced a back pain so shocking, unprecedented and severe he had to stop and sit down. When he began to moan, their son Bruce told his mother to call 911.
Sonographers can reliably handle screening breast ultrasound
For screening breast ultrasound studies, can sonographers deliver a performance comparable to that of radiologists? Turns out they can, according to research presented at the recent RSNA 2013 meeting in Chicago.
A team of researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that handheld screening breast ultrasound in the hands of experienced sonographers yielded a similar cancer detection rate and positive predictive value to the reported performance of physician-performed ultrasound screening programs in the literature.
In a pinch, sonographers can handle emergency abdominal ultrasound
When radiologists are unavailable to provide final reports in a timely fashion, sonographers are capable of providing interpretations of abdominal ultrasound studies in an emergency setting, according to Australian research published online in Radiography.
In a retrospective review of 86 emergency abdominal ultrasound studies, a team led by Michal Schneider, Ph.D., of Monash University in Victoria, found that sonographers' findings had total agreement with radiologists' reports in 85 percent of cases. No cases were reported of major discrepancies likely to result in significant adverse patient outcomes.
Private insurance will cover low-dose CT screening
Now that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has endorsed low-dose CT lung cancer screening for high-risk patients, what does it mean for Medicare and private insurance coverage?
A handheld scanner can now detect melanoma
For a long time dermatologists would use their eyes and a magnifier to examine a suspicious lesion for melanoma. But that's becoming a thing of the past. Now, physicians have the option of using high-tech handheld melanoma scanners to determine if those lesions require a biopsy.