Ovarian Cancer: Encouraging Patients to Get Screened

https://vestarad.com/ovarian-cancer-encouraging-patients-get-screened/It’s a topic not many people enjoy talking about, or even thinking about. Cancer, of any kind, is complicated, and ovarian cancer is, arguably, one of the most complicated and aggressive cancers there is. About 20% of women receive an early diagnosis, and of those detected early, 94% live longer than 5 years after their diagnosis, says the American Cancer Society. Encouraging patients to get screened for early detection, paying attention to the body’s signals, and regular exams are the biggest defenses we have against this deadly disease.

 

Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, which is why it is paramount for patients to have regular pelvic exams. To help encourage patients to get the proper care for early detection, or with a new diagnosis, empower them with communication so they feel in charge, says Cancer Care. Suggesting the patient takes notes of the session will help, says the article, including dates, names, and discussion points. This will provide physical evidence of what went on during the appointment and a reference point for the possibly overwhelmed patient. Bringing a trusted friend or family member to the appointment can also ease the possible isolation or fear the patient may have. Another set of eyes and ears never hurts and the extra person may provide different questions and concerns the patient hadn’t thought of. Encouraging patients to write down questions or worries they may have before, during or after the appointment also gives the control back to the patient, says the article.

 

Persistent symptoms, even seemingly dismissible, should be examined. The fact is that ovarian cancer moves quickly, so before symptoms become worrisome, it’s important the patient knows her family history, says the American Cancer Society. If the patient has a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, has an inherited genetic syndrome, like Lynch syndrome, or a gene mutation such as BRCA, her high risk status must be presented and she must be heavily encouraged to get regular exams and to pay close attention to any changes within her body.

 

The two most common screening tests for ovarian cancer are the transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and the CA-125 blood test, says American Cancer Society. The sound waves used during a TVUS detects abnormal shapes or measurements, says Healthline, and is about 75% effective, which is why you may order at CT scan, MRI, or a biopsy for further testing, says the article. The CA-125 blood test is not as reliable for ovarian cancer detection because high levels of the protein may not be an indicator of ovarian cancer, per se, but of inflammatory disease or endometriosis. Unfortunately, there aren’t many sure and simple tests to detect early ovarian cancer or recommend for your patient, says the CDC. Keeping your patients aware of these options may seem alarming, but they’ll know what to expect should the concern arise.

 

Telling your patients about genetic counseling is also a good option, says WebMd. For your high risk patients, genetic counseling will give them more concrete knowledge about their own bodies and family history. Should the patient’s test come back positive of a gene mutation, you will be aware of her risks and what to look out for during exams.

 

encourage your patients to get screened

 

Whether your patient is at high risk of ovarian cancer or not, urge them to consider regular exams and screening. There is research being done currently, says American Cancer Society, although the best and most proven way is through ultrasound and the CA-125 blood test. Reminding them you are always available if something in their body feels off, if they are in pain, or have been worried, is never a bad idea. Empower them to take charge of their health.

Teleradiology Interpretations for TVUS

Managing a healthcare practice means providing optimal care for your patients, and that includes providing the proper education and addressing patient concerns. We understand it is not always easy to balance running tests, interpretations and patient communication. That’s why Vesta has a team of US Board Certified radiologists who work with your team for preliminary and final interpretations – 24×7, nights, weekends and even holidays. Please contact us to learn more about our outsourced radiology services: 1-877-55-VESTA. 

Differences Between Preliminary and Final Radiology Interpretations  

A radiology report interprets images into words. The requesting physician who requests the radiology reports recommends treatment to their patient based on the findings a radiologist provides in these reports. A patient’s understanding of preliminary or final radiology interpretations is critical in treatment decisions.

An on-call radiology resident or technician may be issuing the preliminary radiology report at a hospital emergency room or an urgent care facility. A physician may need to act on the findings of this initial report before a final interpretation by the radiological physician overseeing the resident or technician.

Studies have shown a minimal discrepancy rate when physicians review the preliminary report with the final findings. A few factors, like the imaging technique and the technician’s experience level, account for most modifications in the final reports.

Why Have Preliminary Radiology Interpretation?

Hospital funding in rural areas and 24-hour urgent care facilities cannot always afford an on-staff radiology physician, and they rely on teleradiology interpretations. However, if a patient in pain arrives at the facility, the physician needs immediate information on how to proceed with the patient’s treatment.

 

preliminary reading

An example may be if the patient complains about severe abdominal pain. The physician must rely on the technician’s preliminary report defining acute appendicitis and perform emergency surgery. Another example may be a possible stroke victim brought into the facility. The physician cannot wait for a final report to make a life-saving decision with the patients.

Radiologist Physician Expertise for a Final Report

Few people understand the extensive education and dedication a Radiologist Physician undergoes during their career. They graduate from medical school, complete their internships and residency requirements, and interpret thousands of exams under supervision. These are just a few of the provisions of licensing.

The extensive requirements of completing a radiologist physician program limit the number of physicians available for final radiology interpretations.

With the advancement of technology in the field, teleradiology has broadened the possibility of more accessible and punctual final reads from radiologists. In most cases, it can make the need for preliminary reporting almost obsolete.

Besides an emergency, another exception may be for very complicated cases where second reads of the imagery may be pertinent to a diagnosis or treatment plan. In these cases, it is most beneficial to have a preliminary report, a second read, then a final report issued before making any decisions.

The primary goal of physicians is to make a difference in the lives of their patients, and they can do this by having timely, accurate, and well-defined information. Continuing improvement of the technical aspects of the radiology field will allow the radiologist to expeditiously provide final radiology interpretations and assist in improving patient management.

 

final interpretation

US Board Certified Teleradiologists from Vesta

At Vesta Teleradiology, our US Board Certified Radiologists can assist your facility with both preliminary and final interpretations, including subspecialty solutions like: nuclear medicine, body imaging, gastrointestinal/genitourinary diagnoses, cardiac angiography and thoracic radiology.

 

Recent Advancements in Nuclear Medicine

The medical community is always looking for new and better ways to serve patients and save lives. Science, medicine, and technology often intersect to break barriers and create innovative new treatments – and nowhere is that truer than in the field of nuclear medicine.

What is Nuclear Medicine?

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering defines nuclear medicine as a specialty that uses radioactive tracers to diagnose and treat disease. Nuclear medicine is invaluable for patient care, as it can help detect disorders in the bones, gall bladder, heart, and much more.

 

 

This field has seen tremendous advancements in recent years, which offer the potential for incredible and life-saving benefits. Here are some of the latest developments in nuclear medicine.

Making AI More Effective

Artificial intelligence has been an integral part of medicine for decades, particularly in the realm of diagnostics. And now, new research suggests that nuclear medicine may make AI-based diagnostics even more effective.

radiology interpretations

For example, researchers in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM) suggest that nuclear imaging can help with machine learning and AI cancer diagnoses. This is because nuclear imaging creates a high contrast between tumors and normal tissue, making it much easier for the machine to identify abnormalities. Combining AI diagnostics with nuclear medicine can make the machines more accurate, which will ultimately result in better patient care over time.

Detecting Heart Disease

Radionuclide imaging has long been used to detect issues in patient heart function. However, researchers are beginning to explore new uses for this technology – including the examination of the heart’s very molecules.

Research from 2020 found that radionuclide imaging is successful at detecting cardiac amyloidosis, a rare condition in which a protein called amyloid is deposited in the cardiac muscle. Amyloid deposits can cause buildup over time and ultimately lead to heart failure, so it is very important to detect this condition as early as possible.

Discovering New Treatments

Nuclear medicine has many potential uses for imaging and diagnostics. However, it also offers many benefits for researchers.

For example, scientists at the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science recently used a radioligand (a radioactive substance used to study receptors in the body) to study whether an antioxidant called ERGO could penetrate the brain and protect against oxidative stress. The study successfully proved that ERGO can penetrate the brains of mice, which opens doors for further research on using this antioxidant to treat conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

Nuclear medicine is always developing and advancing, and each advance makes it easier to give patients the care they deserve. 

 

Nuclear Radiology Readings

 

We are proud of our talented pool of teleradiologists who specialize in a variety of subspecialties, including nuclear radiology. If you’ would like to learn more about how we can integrate with your current workflow in order to provide preliminary and final interpretations, please contact us now at 1-877-55-VESTA

Bone Health with BMD and DEXA Scans

Bone density is the ratio of skeletal weight (mass) to the volume or area of the bones. The heavier the bones, the stronger they will be. It affects physical activity levels, menopause, nerve signals, and more. A bone mineral density (BMD) scan compares your bone mass to an established norm and produces a score unique to you. This is different than a bone scan that looks for infections or cancer, or the presence of a fracture. A BMD scan helps determine the presence of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and the probability of future falls and fractures. A BMD score, combined with personal and family medical history, can help doctors get a complete picture of bone health.

 

bone density x-ray

 

The types of diagnostic imaging used to measure bone density have included ultrasonography, CT and MRI images, and central dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) tests. In 1988, the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use. Since then, DEXA has become the gold standard for measuring bone mineral density. Its scan of the large bones at the lumbar spine and hips is most used. Shorter scan times and minimal radiation exposure makes it safe. DEXA transmits photons at two energy levels for soft tissue and cortical bone and aids in the diagnosing of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fracture risk assessment. It is inexpensive and the most accurate imaging modality for assessing bone mass density and health.

Doctors and radiologists use the BMD score to comprise a T-score or Z-score, which is a comparison to a reference group on a standard deviation scale. T-scores are given to adults and are determined by comparison to a young gender-matched group with peak bone mass. Z-scores are given to children and are determined by comparison to an age-matched group. These scores are used in risk fracture assessment, low bone mass or osteoporosis diagnosis, patient criteria for clinical trials, and management guidelines for osteoporosis. It is crucial that BMD measurements are correct, as well as differences in T-score and Z-score population groups. Accurate documentation is necessary for dependable results. Any variation used in this process can affect the actual T-score and Z-score. Improvements in calculation methods are currently ongoing.

Maintaining strong bones is essential. Daily calcium, vitamin D supplements, and weight-bearing exercises can help slow bone loss. In addition, patients should have their BMD checked regularly. Patients should also be counseled on safety measures like fall prevention.

Top Teleradiology Company: Vesta

At Vesta Teleradiology, our U.S. Board Certified Radiologists are able to read and interpret DEXA scans. If you need supporting staff to cover nights, weekends and holidays, please reach out to us today: 1-877-55-VESTA

 

Benefits of Mobile Imaging for Outpatient Healthcare

Most of the healthcare provided by physicians involves some method of imaging. In the past, technicians have performed diagnostic services in the imaging departments of hospitals. Today, imaging services are brought to the patient with the help of mobile imaging.

 

Since there is such a high demand for x-rays, ultrasounds, MRI, CT scans, and EKGs, in-house hospital departments tend to be overwhelmed, and patients can have long wait times in crowded waiting rooms. Even getting an appointment for the imaging service can take a long time which delays treatment for the patient’s care.

 

With the emergence of mobile imaging, patients have more accessible, more efficient access to imaging services. With faster access to the patient, healthcare professionals can diagnose their patients more quickly and begin necessary treatments.

mobile radiology for assisted living

Senior Population and Imaging

The best example of the benefits of mobile imaging is with the senior population–many of whom reside in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Persons over the age of 65 are a fragile population who need imaging services frequently.

The older age group has an increased fall rate, a higher rate of pneumonia and cancers, and compromised immune systems.  They need prompt diagnoses, but transportation to receive medical care is complicated.

The benefits are vast when mobile imaging can accommodate this population’s needs:

  • Overall, costs are reduced for the service because the facility doesn’t need to transport the patient to a hospital imaging department.
  • Understaffed facilities don’t need to assign an employee to accompany the patient for diagnostic imaging in a hospital.
  • There are fewer transfers between facility and hospital.
  • Mobile imaging services reduce anxiety in the elderly because transporting and waiting for imaging services accentuates fear in the undiagnosed.
  • There is a reduced need for hospitalizations and outpatient treatments of the patients because the assisted living facilities and nursing homes can provide prescribed care.
  • Mobile imaging can provide needed diagnostic information to the patient’s attending physician faster than an imaging department can, which expedites a treatment plan for the patient.
  • The patient can remain in familiar surroundings (and with people they know) while receiving diagnostic imaging services. This benefit is significant when the patient has difficulty understanding or processing information.

When people of any age are hurting, fearful, anxious, or lack understanding, their comfort is the most crucial factor in beneficial treatments. Mobile imaging comes to the patient and provides fast, efficient, accessible, and cost-effective diagnostics for the most fragile patients.

 Working with a Teleradiology Company

With Vesta Teleradiology, we work with mobile imaging centers and any health facility that provides this technology to their patients. We work with your workflow and integrate to your technology so sending and receiving scans is a breeze. Learn more about how we can help you now: call us at 1-877-55-VESTA.

teleradiology services

Pediatric Radiology Trends

Pediatric radiology covers a wide range of uses. From broken bones to dental exams to chronic conditions, it’s arguably one of the most important advancements in medical history. Even more impressive, the improvement hasn’t stopped there. Pediatric radiology has made multiple advancements over time, many of them in the past few years, including lower exposure techniques and non-invasive imaging.

One of the most influential advancements in pediatric radiology is the use of ionizing radiation. According to a 2021 article by Imaging Technology News, radiation is a big factor in medical imaging for children. Because their organs are still developing, they are more sensitive to radiation, and can develop illnesses, including leukemia or brain and thyroid cancer, if exposed to too much of it. To combat exposure, medical professionals use computed tomography, fluoroscopy, and the x-ray. All three imaging procedures use a form of ionizing technology which allows doctors to diagnose patients non-invasively. These life-saving advancements are incredibly useful, however, over time and with cumulative exposure, radiation is still a concern, according to the article.

In 2019, Business Wire wrote about a recently approved FDA technology that reduces the dose of radiation to pediatric patients while still producing a clear image. The S-Vue, produced by Samsung, “reduced x-ray dose up to 45% for pediatric abdomen exams, 15.5% for pediatric chest exams, and up to 27% for pediatric skull exams.” S-Vue uses noise-reducing technology to produce these clear images. As if this wasn’t extraordinary enough, Samsung also released an updated version of the S-Vue for adults earlier this year, said Design and Development Today.

For the smallest patients, a new MRI system recently became approved just last year and is being used in Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, and hospitals around the world, according to Forbes. The Embrace Neonatal MRI System accommodates newborns and infants for clear images while not moving the tiny patient, who may be in critical condition, to different parts of the hospital. According to their website, the Embrace is the first FDA approved neonatal MRI system for exclusive use inside NICUs for newborns.

In addition to technologies used for newborns, ultrasounds have become advanced as well. Usually, an ultrasound is the first record of a new life, producing that fuzzy, albeit beautiful image of a parents’ child. However, ultrasounds are used for many more reasons. According to Forbes, the ultrasound has gotten a bit of an upgrade, including 3-D and 4-D technologies, and an ultra-doppler advancement technique, among other innovations. According to the article, ultrasound elastography is a technique used to detect different stages of liver fibrosis. This technology reduces the need for young patients to undergo a biopsy where sedation and anesthesia may be required.

 

teleradiology pediatric

While the reason for these technologies may not be our favorite thoughts, it is a comfort and an uplifting notion that the innovators, scientists, and medical professionals behind these machines are working hard to help the youngest among us and to reinforce the idea that we are truly here to help one another.

How AI is Making an Impact on Radiology and Imaging

The fields of science and medicine are always progressing. This progression intends to help both patients and providers.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming common as a way to diagnose patients. It provides a more efficient way to collect and store information. The software can even analyze imaging to a high level of accuracy. This helps providers catch a problem that they may have missed before.

AI is a field that is advancing quickly. What progress have we seen in the past couple of years? What programs have we begun to put in place?

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence refers to highly advanced computers or computer-controlled robots. These computers are capable of performing incredibly complex tasks. Before, we thought these tasks could only be done by intelligent beings.

AI in imaging

These computers are often associated with human characteristics. They seem to be able to reason and learn from past experiences.

How Is Artificial Intelligence Used For Diagnostic Imaging & Radiation?

Using AI in radiology and imaging has been gaining traction in the medical world. We use it largely to store and analyze data, helping physicians to make a prognosis. AI can store and analyze all a patient’s records. It can then make a diagnosis based on those records. The analysis is often far more accurate than what a human counterpart can do.

The use of AI is also helpful because of its storage capability. AI can have large imaging biobanks to hold more images than standard computers.

It also makes the lives of physicians easier by filtering patients by need. It can recommend appropriate diagnostic imaging based on the patient’s current records. It can also sort patients by priority in the case of an emergency.

What Advancements Have Been Made?

AI means to eliminate problems associated with human limitations. Traditional imaging takes a team of technicians. They must take the imaging as well as interpret it. This can be time-consuming. Plus, AI is able to analyze images with far greater accuracy than the human eye.

Radiomics

Radiomics is a tool that performs a deep analysis of tumors down to the molecular level. AI can perform radiomics with far better accuracy than the human eye or brain.

AI can analyze a specific region and extract over 400 elements. It then takes these features and correlates them with other data to form a diagnosis. The AI can analyze features from radiographs, CT, MRI, or PET studies.

Rapid Brain-Imaging AI Software

Hyperfine is the manufacturer of portable MRI machines. They are now creating these machines with new AI intelligence software. They believe that this new software will be able to perform brain scans in under 3 minutes.

AI-Generated Drugs

In 2020, an AI-created drug went to human clinical trials. The drug intends to treat OCD, and was designed entirely by AI. Exscientia is the manufacturer of the drug. They say that it normally takes about 4.5 years to get a new drug to this stage of testing. With AI generation, the drug got to the human clinical trial stage in under 12 months.

Making A Diagnosis

We stated earlier that AI is being used as a way to more efficiently diagnose patients. Still, relying entirely on AI to do this can complicate things and may be unwise.

So, the researchers of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab worked to combat this. They created a machine learning system that analyzes the data and decides whether to diagnose.

If it “feels” it’s unable to make an accurate prediction, it will defer to a medical professional. It even considers whether to defer to an expert based on who in the medical team is available. It will consider each team member’s availability, level of experience, and specialty.

Conclusion  

AI in diagnostic imaging shows promise to truly advance quality of care for patients. We are excited to see more advancements in this arena. In the meantime, we don’t believe any machine can currently replace a trained human eye when it comes to interpretations. At Vesta, we provide US Board Certified radiologists who work to provide accurate preliminary and final interpretations. Learn how we can support your radiology department– contact us today. 

The State of Telehealth Today

The pandemic changed many ways we function in today’s society, but the most significant changes came in the healthcare industry. Many of our doctor visits and consults were via the internet on one of many telehealth websites developed during the pandemic time frame.

The telehealth websites allowed physicians and other medical professionals to manage their patient’s health care services during a time when social distancing was necessary for the public’s health and safety. The internet brought medical care to patients who could remain in the comfort of their homes.

Advantages of Telehealth

There were many advantages to providing healthcare through telehealth technology. These advantages include:

  • Easier access to healthcare for rural communities
  • Easier access to healthcare for patients with limited mobility
  • Safer and easier access to healthcare for patients with compromised immune systems
  • Easier access to professional medical specialists
  • Easier access for patients for medical consultations or advice on self-management of healthcare
  • More immediate and easier access for mental health patients with mental health professionals
  • A physician’s ability to monitor “at-risk” patients more closely using devices that monitor blood pressure, heart rates, oxygen levels, blood sugar levels, and certain medications

 

The primary difficulty with the changeover to telehealth technology has been the acceptance by insurance companies to include exceptions for payments. In the past, Medicare has dictated trends for other insurance companies to follow.

To take advantage of telehealth technology, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services needed to adopt many Medicare healthcare policy changes during the pandemic. Most of the changes were temporary and scheduled to end when the pandemic was over.

 

Because of the significant benefits telehealth technology has brought to the healthcare industry, Congress has approved additions and extensions to  Medicare. These are a few of the extensions Congress supported:

  • Medicare will pay health care providers for telehealth services to patients who are at their homes, or any other location
  • Medicare pays health care providers such as physicians and nurses and will include paying qualified occupational therapists, physical therapists, audiologists, and speech pathologists.
  • Medicare will continue to pay for audio-only telehealth technology
  • Medicare will continue to compensate and provide support for rural communities dependent on telehealth technology

telemedicine

Even though the public has been made aware of how vital telehealth technology has become in filling gaps in the health care system, there are still concerns about payment and fraud abuse. Medicare and other insurance systems will be more accepting if programmers expand on advanced reporting and payment safeguards designed into the programs.

 

Even with the concerns insurance companies may have, the future looks promising to include telehealth technology in everyday healthcare. Patients and healthcare providers will continue to enjoy the convenience, the swift access to professional help, and the ability to remain safe from exposure to other illnesses.

 

In summary, telehealth technology will probably not go away, but demand will insist on expansion. In the future, we might see:

  • Patient care plans including some form of virtual service
  • Changes from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model of healthcare
  • Expansion of specialized physical health and mental health care options available using telehealth technology
  • Longer one-on-one healthcare professional-to-patient time talking and listening
  • It may become a solution to the projected shortage of healthcare professionals in the future

 

Presently, there is no continuity in the regulation of telehealth technology resulting in every state having different policies. It’s imperative to check with your health care insurance to evaluate coverage by your insurance policy.

Telehealth technology came to us out of necessity, but the benefits have given it staying power. The future for expansion in the field is limitless, allowing more freedom and productivity for providers and their patients.

tele-radiologist

Vesta Teleradiology

It goes without saying that Telemedicine is our specialty. In fact, healthcare facilities look to Vesta to support in full or part, their radiology departments. Our U.S. Board Certified radiologists work nights, weekends, and even holidays so you can continue to provide quality care for your patients. Even more, Vesta works with you in terms of the format and style of the interpretation report adapting to your interpretive mode.

How Diagnostic Imaging Centers Can Benefit from Teleradiology

It’s safe to say that every medical professional wants the best care and treatment for their patients. From the time a patient steps foot into a medical facility to the time he or she leaves, accuracy and timeliness are key factors in their treatment plans. But what if those two things weren’t available right away? At a diagnostic imaging center, patients put their trust into the qualified and knowledgeable team that captures and interprets the images of their bodies. With current technologies, imaging centers can do all of this on site, but what if there was an even more efficient way? Many diagnostic imaging centers, hospitals, urgent care and medical facilities are choosing teleradiology, a digital outsourcing of medical images to remote locations, and there’s a few reasons why.

 

In an article published by Science Direct, teleradiology is growing in popularity for many medical offices, hospitals, and imaging centers across the country. With the use of electronic transmission of images, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other specialty images can be shared to a radiologist on the spot. Because of a shortage in radiologists across the country, and globally, says Radiology Society of North America, there aren’t enough specialists to fulfill patient needs, especially those with specific needs, such as pediatric or neuro-radiology. There has been a long term burnout from COVID19 for many medical professionals, especially radiologists, and medical facilities have become creative with their job listings, making them a hybrid of in-house and remote work. Their hope is that these types of jobs will be more appealing, making teleradiology even stronger.

 

tele-radiology services
A radiologist reviews an x-ray

 

Teleradiology alleviates the need for a radiologist to be in the room with the patient, and allows for interpretation, collaboration, or education of an image at any time, day or night. When a patient needs a radiologist immediately, an image can be sent to a professional via LAN line, across states, or across the country for input. This kind of technology eliminates worry about staff shortages and time zones, when many emergencies could occur.  It also eliminates the need for specialists to relocate, as many rural medical facilities do not have access to radiologists on demand, according to The National Library of Medicine. During medical emergencies, difficult cases, or a time-sensitive diagnosis, as many are, teleradiology makes the process speedier than ever before.

Economically, teleradiology is a great choice as well, for both medical facilities and patients. The cost of having a radiologist on staff could be very expensive, however, with teleradiology, the cost dramatically drops because the medical institution is only charged per exam. In an article published by News Medical Life Sciences, teleradiology is an effective way to provide high-quality specialized services to patients that may not have access to them otherwise.

When choosing the technologies to provide to patients, a diagnostic imaging center may benefit the most from teleradiology, where patients can count on the speed and excellence of not only the healthcare staff present, but the specialists working hard on their cases from everywhere else.

Award-Winning Teleradiology Company: Vesta

With Vesta Teleradiology, we work alongside your team to provide accurate interpretations. Additionally, Vesta works with you in terms of the style and format of the interpretation report adapting to your center’s interpretive mode.

Encouraging Your Male Patients To Get Screened

Studies show that men are more likely to develop an illness than women. They also die an average of 5 years sooner than women. Despite this, women go to the doctor twice as much as men.

June is Men’s Health Month, and as such, it’s important to highlight the struggles that men go through in healthcare. The goal of Men’s Health Month is to bring awareness to the health issues that men face. Medical professionals can encourage men to prioritize their health. 

Why Don’t Men Go To The Doctor?

In May 2022, the Harris Poll conducted a national survey of men across the United States. The survey took place for Orlando Health, interviewing 893 men aged 18 and older.

This survey aimed to gauge the mindset of the male population as it pertains to their individual health.

Men Believe They Are Healthier Than Others

According to this survey, 65% of men believe they are naturally healthier than others. Men may feel healthy in their day-to-day lives. Yet, there could be underlying conditions that aren’t caught without routine screening.

Unfortunately, with this mindset, men across the United States are going undiagnosed. 33% of the same men surveyed said they feel no need to visit the doctor for a yearly check-up.

Some of the most undiagnosed conditions include elevated blood pressure and colon cancer. High blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke when left unchecked. Further, colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, but also one of the most deadly.

Men Value The Health Of Their Loved Ones Over Themselves

A key problem in society is that men learn to always put others before themselves. They don’t worry about their own needs. Men tend to be more concerned about the health of their spouses, their children, and their parents.

Dr. Movassaghi, a urologist and director of Men’s Health at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, says:

“We’re Supermen: we don’t want to ever get sick. We’re […] told by ourselves or by our friends [that] it’s almost like a negative connotation to go to the doctor.” 

Men Don’t Feel Supported

There is a stigma behind men going to the doctor. This stigma is fueled or doused based on their loved-ones perspectives. Particularly the perspectives of the women in their lives.

The females in men’s lives offer the greatest support for a man’s health. Men are more likely to attend a doctor’s appointment if their daughters, wives, or mothers show concern. Additionally, men are more likely to book regular appointments if their mothers prioritized health for them as a child.

Men who avoid going to their doctor for routine screening may be lacking that extra support.

Men Don’t Want To Receive A Diagnosis

According to 21% of men surveyed, they avoid going to the doctor because they don’t want to be diagnosed. The fear of receiving a diagnosis is scarier for 1/5 of men than it is to ignore the problem.

Men Feel They Don’t Have Time To Go To The Doctor

People are taught that they should sacrifice everything for their jobs. As a result, men feel they don’t have time to go to the doctor.

Throughout society, men have been told they need to be the breadwinners. Even in a changing society, that mentality still persists. As such, men are reluctant to take time off work to attend much-needed health screenings.

The Real Picture: Men’s Health

Most men seem to believe they are healthier than others, but the numbers tell a different story.

According to the CDC:

  •     About 13.2% of men over the age of 18 are in “poor or fair” health
  •     40.5% of men over the age of 20 are obese
  •     51.9% of men over the age of 20 have high blood pressure or take medication for hypertension
  •     50% of Americans over the age of 65 will develop a form of skin cancer
  •     1/9 of men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime
  •     30.6% of men will experience depression in their lifetime

How To Convince Men They Need Screening

Medical professionals strive to put their patients first in all things. But, what about when your male patients show a reluctance to come to the doctor? How can you convince them to prioritize their health?

Offer TeleHealth Services

Most medical professionals prefer seeing their patients in person. It’s easier to assess their health. Yet, many men prefer attending doctor’s visits online. Many are more likely to schedule an appointment.

telemedicine

A MENtion It Survey of September took place in 2021. It found that men schedule an appointment every 1.5 years or less. Yet, 66% of the men surveyed stated that they had used TeleHealth services in the past 12 months.

Although, as a medical professional, you may need to do more to push your patients to come to see you in person. Still, Telehealth offers a good temporary solution. It gets your male patients “in-the-door” to get their health accessed.

Exhibit Compassion & Encouragement

Many men avoid going to the doctor because they feel it’s not necessary. Much of this mindset stems from embarrassment. Men feel that they should be invincible, so they feel they shouldn’t need to go to the doctor.

 

A fear of many patients — men and women — is not being taken seriously by their doctors. Many patients feel belittled when attending appointments. Or, they feel that their concerns aren’t taken seriously.

Patients who receive this treatment aren’t likely to return.

It’s important for medical professionals to show compassion for their patients. There are many reasons someone may not be taking care of their health. They may not have the time or the resources, or they are too embarrassed.

It is not the job of the medical professional to judge their patient. It is the job of the medical professional to respectfully address the patient’s concerns. They should encourage the patient to keep coming back for ongoing treatment.

Set Them Up For The Future

Many men feel they have too much on their shoulders. They need to take care of their family’s health and earn money to support their family.

Medical professionals can give their male patients a gentle reminder. To care for their families, they need to care for themselves first

It’s likely that a loved one has already pushed the patient to seek help for his health. Still, they sometimes need that extra push from a professional.

What Screening Should Men Receive?

There are several illnesses that men can receive screening for.

Yearly Check-Up

Most men don’t come in for a yearly check-up with their doctor, and this leads to illnesses going undiagnosed. Many illnesses are treatable when diagnosed early. Treatment becomes severely more difficult if the illness has already progressed too far.

 

Dr. Hendrickson of UT Health, says it’s difficult to stop or reverse an illness after the damage is done. This is especially true for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer.

Blood Pressure

Heart disease is the number one killer among men. Death often stems from undiagnosed high blood pressure. Healthy adult men should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year for any changes.

Cancer

40.2% of men are at risk of cancer in their lifetime, with prostate cancer being the number one threat to men. This is followed by lung and colorectal cancer.

Cholesterol

Men with high cholesterol will be at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. So, all men over the age of 35 should have their cholesterol checked every two years.

men's cholesterol

Some men should have their cholesterol checked more frequently. This includes men who smoke, are obese, and whose family has a history of heart disease.  Those who have diabetes or high blood pressure should receive a screening more often as well.

Colonoscopy

It’s no secret that most people avoid having a colonoscopy, but it can be the difference between life and death. Every man should receive their first colonoscopy at the age of 45. They should receive later screenings every 10 years.

Depression

Mental illness has a stigma in our society, particularly among men. This is all the more reason to have your male patients screened for depression.

Depression affects your patient’s mental health, but also their physical health. It can increase the patient’s risk for heart disease and other serious conditions.

Diabetes

Men should have their glucose levels checked every year. 

Men who are more at risk for diabetes should be checked more frequently. This includes men experiencing symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, rapid weight loss, or tingling in the hands or feet.

Prostate Exam

Most doctors recommend the first prostate exam at age 50. Although many men dread this exam, it’s important to prevent prostate cancer.

Conclusion

Studies show that men are more prone to illness than women, yet they seek help for their health about half as often.

June is Men’s Health Month, so it’s time for a reminder to advocate for men’s health.

Heart disease is the number one killer among men, and cancer comes in a close second. Medical professionals can help change that by advocating for their patient’s health. By encouraging your male patients to take charge of their health, you might be saving a life.

By partnering with a telemedicine company like Vesta, you are able to outsource your radiology requirements (in part, or fully), to our US Board Certified Radiologists so you can continue to offer quality healthcare to your patients. Learn more about how we work with a variety of healthcare facilities to support their staff and workflow: vestarad.com