Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ask the Experts: Low Dose CT Lung Screening

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and our focus for this months Ask The Experts.

Lung cancer amounts for 1 of every 3 cancer deaths and is the second most diagnosed in men and women. About 87% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, however 60% of lung cancer patients have never smoked or are former smokers who quit decades ago. Only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed at their earliest, most curable stages. If caught early patients can increase their treatment options, outcome and survival rate. 

Recent studies have shown that using low dose CT for screening of lung cancer has reduced cancer deaths from lung cancer by 20% in just five years. Listed below are frequently asked questions regarding low dose CT lung screening exams available at Atlantic Medical Imaging.

 What is a low dose CT lung screening?
The CT lung screening is a low dose CT scan which evaluates your lungs for any sign of cancer. This screening tool is intended for individuals considered to be at high risk fir developing lung cancer. The advanced CT scan provides a rapid examination of your lungs and is designed to detect small nodules (possible cancers) that may be present, but not yet visible on a standard chest x-ray. The images are acquired in a similar fashion to a regular CT, using a helical technique. It takes only seconds (one breath hold) and no IV or contrast is needed. Recent research suggests that detection of nodules at a very small size may dramatically improve the likelihood of survival of lung cancer.

How much radiation is used during the exam?
In an average size person, the dose will be approximately 1mSv (millisieverts). To put this into perspective, a person will receive 3 to 4 mSvs of background radiation every year just living at sea level. Your additional lifetime cancer risk at age 55 for the low dose CT scan is approximately 0.004%, which is very low.
Who should get a low dose CT lung screening?
Results from the NLST (National Lung Screening Trial) suggest former smokers and smokers age 55+ with a 30 pack-year smoking history have a low dose CT lung screening. Pack-year history is calculated by multiplying the number of years smoking by the number of packs per day. 

Other candidates include patients between 50 and 55 years of age with at least a 20-30 pack smoking history or with risk factors such as asbestos exposure or obstructive airway disease. Non-smokers concerned about their risks from environmental hazards such as asbestos or radon gas, or who have health concerns, like obstructive airway disease, or who were exposed to substantial second hand smoke, should consult their physicians to see if they are a candidate for this procedure. 

For more information please visit www.atlanticmedicalimaging.com & continute to check back for more FAQ's on low dose CT lung screenings.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and AMI is focused on educating patients on the importance of prevention and early detection.  Lung cancer is responsible for 1 out of every 3 cancer deaths and is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and women. While heavy smokers are at the greatest risk for the disease, 60% of lung cancer patients are individuals who never smoked or who quit decades ago. Only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed at their earliest, most curable stages. If caught early, patients can increase their treatment options while improving their outcomes and survival rate.

A new low dose CT lung screening exam is now being offered at Atlantic Medical Imaging. Recent studies have shown that screening current and former heavy smokers reduced their risk of dying from lung cancer by 20%.

The low dose CT lung screening exam is for patients 55-74 who have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or at least two packs of cigarettes a day for 15 years. In addition, patients 50-74 who have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years and with risk factors such as asbestos exposure or a family history of lung cancer are eligible.  Patients will need a script from their healthcare provider indicating LOW DOSE CT LUNG SCREENING.

To learn more please visit: atlanticmedicalimaging.com/low-dose-ct-lung-screening

Monday, October 13, 2014

AMI Presents Girls Night Out

Most women probably don't associate mammograms with fun, but Atlantic Medical Imaging's Girls Night Out on October 22nd  and 23rd  may change all that. These breast health events, held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, incorporates the things women love: pampering, food and drink, and spending quality time with friends. 

These events will take place Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at AMI's Galloway office, located at 44 E. Jimmie Leeds Road, as well as Thursday, October 23, 2014 at AMI's Brick Women's Center, located at 495 Jack Martin Blvd. These events will include screening mammograms, free mini chair massages and free nail polish change, light hor d'oeuvers and cocktail and the opportunity to meet AMI's female physicians, technologists and staff.  All attendees will be entered in a drawing to win a free spa treatment.  Space is limited for the free massages and polish change, both of which are on a first come first serve basis. 

Mammography screenings will be available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call (609) 677-XRAY (9729) or (732) 233-XRAY (9729).

"This event represents a "best of both worlds" opportunity for women," said Dr. Peggy Avagliano, head of women's imaging at AMI. "It promises to be a fun and enjoyable night out, while at the same time empowering women to take charge of their bodies and their health."

To RSVP for these events please call, (609) 568-9153. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Raising Awareness for Breast Cancer

AMI Partners with RNS and Tanger Outlets, The Walk During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Atlantic Medical Imaging is teaming up with RNS and Tanger Outlets, The Walk during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. For a $5 donation, people can purchase a pink coupon book containing five 25 percent off discount coupons that can be used at select stores at Tanger Outlets, The Walk in Atlantic City.

RNS and AMI staff members shown on location at Tanger Outlets, The Walk 
with the Dr. Jan Astin Digital Mobile Mammography Van selling pink 
discount coupon books for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Coupon books are available for purchase at all AMI office locations in Atlantic and Cape May counties and are good through October 25, 2014. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Dr. Jan Astin Mobile Digital Mammography Van, which provides life-saving screening mammograms to women throughout southern and central New Jersey.

AMI staffers will be present at Tanger Outlets, The Walk each Saturday in October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help raise awareness about the importance of annual screening mammograms. Additionally, the Dr. Jan Astin Digital Mobile Mammography Van will be on site to provide screening mammograms. 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

AMI Offering Free Mammograms This October

Free screenings offered to uninsured women age 40 and over
in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In the fight against breast cancer, early detection saves lives. The health care experts at Atlantic Medical Imaging are doing their part by offering women the opportunity to receive a free screening mammogram this October. Eligible women must be uninsured, age 40 or older, and with no current or previous breast health issues. The program coincides with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is funded through the generous support of the AMI Foundation.

“We all know that annual mammograms are vitally important,” said Dr. Peggy Avagliano, head of women’s imaging at AMI. “One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, and for many of those women, the cancer won’t be detected until its later stages. We don’t believe any woman should have to forgo important health care screenings due to lack of insurance.”

The goal of screening exams is to find cancers before they start to spread and cause symptoms. Breast cancers found early during screening exams are far more likely to be smaller and contained, greatly improving the chances of successful treatment.

AMI will be providing free mammograms to those who quality at eight office locations in Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean and Monmouth counties, as well as the Dr. Jan Astin Mobile Digital Mammography Van. The van travels throughout southern and central New Jersey to make breast cancer screening easier and more convenient.

As the only Breast Imaging Center of Excellence in the southeastern New Jersey region, AMI is committed to providing state-of-the-art technology, clinical expertise and sensitive patient care to women throughout southern and central New Jersey.

To schedule an appointment, Atlantic and Cape May County residents may call (609) 677-XRAY (9729).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Educating Local Students

This past Thursday, Dr. Falciani was a guest speaker at Ocean City High School's Anatomy and Physiology classes, for 11th and 12th grade students. 

He discussed a day in the life of a radiologist and showed students, via images, how radiologists use imaging techniques to diagnose diseases and injuries.

Great job Dr. Falciani! We hope to have inspired future radiologists!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ask The Experts: Prostate Cancer Awareness

We continue our focus this month on prostate cancer. To learn more, we had Dr. David Levi answer questions on the topic. Continue to check back for more information on prostate cancer and exams available at Atlantic Medical Imaging. 

 What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer occurs in a man’s prostate, which is a small gland located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.  Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, after skin cancer) More than 2 million men in the US count themselves as prostate cancer survivors.
Prostate cancer typically grows slowly, however in some cases it can be aggressive and spread quickly. When detected early, and still limited to the prostate gland, patients have a better chance of a successful treatment.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed? 
Most prostate cancers are first found with a blood test, known as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. PSA, is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. This test measures the level of PSA in the blood. The blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer. Usually, a PSA test will be performed along with a digital rectal exam (DRE) to help establish the nature of the problem.  A DRE is performed to check for growths, or enlargement of the prostate gland.
Whether cancer is suspected based on screening tests or symptoms, the actual diagnosis can only be made with a prostate biopsy.  The biopsy will remove small samples of tissue to be examined under a microscope for cancer cells.
What are some risk factors for prostate cancer? 
Older age, African American race, and a family history of the disease can all increase the chances of a man developing prostate cancer.  As men increase in age, their risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer increases. About 60% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65 and 97% occur in men 50 years of age and older.
Are there any symptoms? 
If the cancer is caught in its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms. Some men, however, will experience symptoms such as frequent, hesitant, or burning urination, difficulty in having an erection, or pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.

Because these symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, it is recommended that those who do experience any of these symptoms undergo thorough exams  to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms.