Ovarian Cancer: Encouraging Patients to 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.

 

cancer awareness

 

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. 

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.

patient and doctor

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

Solution and Ideas for Rural Hospital Challenges

Rural hospitals are the cornerstones of many rural communities. Not only are these facilities access points of care, but they are also significant financial support to rural areas by being primary employers.

These facilities are essential to the rural communities and make them vulnerable to financial difficulties. There are limited resources to comply with the increasing regulations on these facilities. Also, revenues are minimal due to low patient volume, shortage of physicians and other health care professionals, and a higher number of elderly, poor, and underinsured residents, along with a higher chronic illness rate.

small regional hospitals

The North Carolina Rural Health Research Program reported 95 rural hospitals closed between 2010 and 2018, resulting in a total loss of local care in some communities. Rural hospitals serve 20% of the population in the United States, making the survival of rural hospitals a priority in the health care system.

To explore solutions to the problems, in 2019, the American College of Radiology distributed a 22 question survey to explore the rural hospital systems’ staffing, recruitment, and retention issues. The responses showed interventional radiologist trained physicians either “do not want to do diagnostic work” (56.2%) or “do not want to practice in a small or rural setting” (48.8%)

The health care communities are continually exploring new models of care to improve these overall challenges rural hospitals face. Government entities and corporate and private organizations continue to explore

changing policies and enacting legislation for this health services dilemma to strengthen the viability of our rural health care systems.

Technology

Expanding the use of the internet has provided a wide choice of tools for rural hospitals to provide better health outcomes for the patients and better workload and communication for the workers.

Technology specialists have categorized solutions that may apply specifically to the rural health care systems.

More Accessible Health Information

Technology can create better communication between patients and health care providers to enhance treatment options, along with access to electronic records.

Digital Imaging

Digital imaging equipment and scanners that digitize documents and images allow radiology, pathology, and cardiology specialists to interpret these images in co-operative care centers at any distance.

Real-Time Patient Monitoring

Specialists can remotely monitor their patients in rural facilities for cardiac and ICU care.

Cooperation between health care partners is essential in the success of technology solutions for rural health care facilities. There are a variety of resources to explore if technology may seem like a viable solution.

Empowering Patients

Health care and health insurance options can be confusing, and many patients have difficulty understanding the process to get the care they need.

Each rural community has unique methods of networking and communicating. Working with existing community communication systems and creating more outreach methods to distribute

easy-to-understand materials can help patients understand their options better and make better-informed choices.

Funding

Funding for changes to the rural health care systems has come chiefly from grants. Still, cooperative agreements with associations, larger medical centers, and government entities have produced remarkable opportunities for outlying area medical facilities.

Team Effort

Partners from many organizations, health associations, vendors, government agencies, hospitals, healthcare organizations, funding groups, existing networks, and telemedicine programs are available to assist rural communities in need.

By identifying common objectives with other organizations, rural hospitals can specify health delivery problems and staffing issues to offer products and services to meet the rural facilities’ unique requirements.

By working together and overcoming obstacles rural hospitals are experiencing, the healthcare field, and the strength of the rural communities, can endure and experience a brighter future.

Vesta Teleradiology works with healthcare facilities in rural areas. No matter how large or small, we aim to help you provide the best healthcare possible for your patients. Our US Board Certified Radiologists have experience in traditional imaging as well as many subspecialties. 

By utilizing Vesta, these small individual and dependent hospitals can have the feel of being of a larger network spearheaded by Vesta. 

Since Vesta has many radiologists on staff, the hospital will expend on their offerings, have the access to multiple opinions, can consult with other hospitals in the network, no interruption in the service due to shortage of radiologists, vacation or unforeseen situations

Please reach out to us to learn more at 877-55-VESTA.

Top 5 Essential Health Screenings For Women

Without a doubt, it is far better to catch any disease in its earliest stages. Screening allows for early detection and more effective treatment. Below are the top five screenings every woman should have to detect and prevent diseases.

Mammogram- 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer at some point in their lives. For some women this occurs earlier than others. The general guideline is that  women ages 40 to 44 should have mammograms. However, if a family history or a genetic predisposition to breast cancer is present, it is more important than ever to get annual screenings. 

Cervical –

A Pap smear or HPV test can find irregularities in cells that point to cervical cancer in the early stages. If signs of cervical cancer are detected a transvaginal, transrectal, or an MRI should be performed to ascertain the extent of the cancer or tumor.

Bone Density-

After age 65, it is recommended that all women get a bone density screening.  Practitioners can utilize x-ray, body CT, spine CT or a bone density scan to assess the progression of osteoporosis

bone scan for women

Cholesterol

Blood tests can detect high cholesterol. To further evaluate vessels in the heart, doctors can use a CAC test, a type of CT scan. According to the American Heart Association, patients aged 40 to 75 should receive this screening, especially when the risk of heart disease can’t be determined. 

Colorectal Cancer

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends women over the age of fifty-five should get a colorectal examination. Colonoscopy, CT colonography, and flexible sigmoidoscopy are used for visual detection of colorectal cancer. 

Over the past 30 years, there have been many advancements in radiology that allow for better imaging and faster screening. With three dimensional and cross-sectional imaging, practitioners can get a better view of areas of concern and catch cancers or other diseases in their earliest stages. Moreover, electronic transmission enables radiologists to read screenings remotely for a quicker turnaround time. 

 

Helping your Patients get Screened

Even with these advancements, education is key in encouraging women to get screening. There is a tried and true saying —when you know better, you do better. Education can be employed in a variety of ways. Do you operate a women’s wellness clinic? You want to spread the right information that can save your patients’ lives. Here are a few tips to do just that:

  • Newsletters are cost-effective and can have a far-reaching impact. It is important to utilize personal stories, so that patients can put a face to the statistics. These often create a connection with patients as well. Women can see themselves in the stories of other women.
  • wellness clinic newsletter
    Newsletters a a great way to spread the word about the importance of screening

    Virtual events are more convenient for patients than the traditional fundraising events, especially in the age of COVID. Not to mention, they are also cost-effective. The virtual events can also utilize statistics, personal stories, and discussions by doctors in the field.

Imaging centers should work with doctors to encourage them to speak with their patients about the importance of screenings, as patients rely on their doctors for the majority of their information.

Early screening is often overlooked. However, it is of the utmost importance to encourage patients to get regular screenings to allow for ear detection and treatment. Doing so can save lives.

Teleradiology Services

If you are concerned that your healthcare facility simply cannot support the amount of time it takes to review screening results, that’s where Vesta comes in. In service for nearly 15 years, Vesta provides telemedicine and teleradiology services to fill in those gaps for you. With 24 x 7, 365 year round service, Vesta Teleradiology employs US Board Certified radiologists to receive and expertly interpret mammograms and more.

Whether your facility is in a major city or is a satellite in a rural town, we can help.

Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month: Advancements Through the Ages

Ultrasounds—to many not in the medical field, the image of a woman getting her pregnant belly examined is often something that comes to mind first. However, as medical industry professionals, we understand that ultrasounds go way beyond that.

ultrasounds

It’s really amazing to actually look at the history and advancement of such an important diagnostic tool especially during October–Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month.

In simple terms, the ultrasound scan isn’t just a medical device that can help track the development of a baby during pregnancy. The ultrasound scan can also help with the following:

  •       Observing the ovaries and uterus
  •       Evaluating blood flow
  •       Diagnosing gallbladder disease
  •       Examining a lump in the breast
  •       Checking thyroid glands
  •       Guiding a needle
  •       Diagnosing prostate issues

This machine is non-invasive, safe, and does not use ionizing radiation.

History of Ultrasound

The first recorded use of the ultrasound was in 1794 when Italian physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani used ultrasound to study how bats navigated at night. This became the foundation for modern ultrasound physics. 

Bats produce ultrasounds in order to catch prey.

Ultrasound was initially used to detect flaws in metal casings. It was not used clinically until 1956 by Dr. Ian Donald and Tom Brown. There are no known side effects for ultrasound, making it an incredibly safe and efficient imaging device.

Advancements in Ultrasound

Ultrasound machines have become progressively mobile, easy to carry, and smaller while providing high-quality imaging. Since they are non-invasive and cost-effective, doctors can use them to track patient development without the risk of radiation.

Ultrasound technology can allow us to have an excellent view of the body’s vascular system by tracking microbubbles. 3-D imaging is also possible for more precise diagnostics.

As technology continues to expand, our medical devices tend to shrink inversely. Now, medical professionals can increase their diagnostic capabilities from anywhere in the world. For example, some handheld ultrasound devices weigh under a pound and can hook up to your smartphone, help healthcare providers quickly scan their patients—and possibly save lives.

These economical, easy-to-handle devices can change lives globally, predominantly in rural areas. It’s exciting to think that we may only be seeing the beginning of the modern ultrasound age.

How Teleradiology Can Help

Teleradiology, also referred to as remote radiology, provides medical professionals instant imaging result views remotely.  This means that patients have access to better, more immediate health care.

teleradiology servicesStudies suggest that teleradiology offers benefits, including the availability of second opinions and the possibility for remote viewing services. We at Vesta can certainly attest to this! Our clients – hospitals, urgent car centers, physician offices, mobile imaging companies, diagnostic imaging centers, and government institutions—enjoy cost-effective and unrivaled Teleradiology and Telemedicine services any time of day or night.

Prostate Cancer Awareness: Encouraging Patients to Get Screened

Prostate cancer kills 34,130 men each year. With screening, this number can be dramatically decreased. Early detection allows for more treatment options and increased efficacy of treatment. However, many men are reluctant to get screened. So, the question healthcare providers (and organizations that service them like diagnostic imaging centers, mobile imaging, wellness centers, radiology centers, hospitals) and advocates are left to ponder  is—how do we encourage men to get screened? 

prostate exam
How do you encourage men to get screened for prostate cancer?

Education is the most important factor to increase the rate of screening among men. Numerous studies have found that men educated on the topic of prostate cancer are more willing to get screened. In particular, one study found a significant correlation between education and whether or not a man agreed to screening. 

 

That same study found that many men do not get screened if there are no symptoms present. As is well known in the medical community, prostate cancer in its early stages often presents with no symptoms. Educating men on this single fact would be very helpful, but it is equally important to inform them about the risk factors, symptoms, screening procedures, early detection, and treatment options. So, what approach is best for educating reluctant men? 

It’s a Digital World

Brochures are things of the past. In today’s world, the best way to get information out there is through the digital mediums ever present at our fingertips. The good news is there are a variety of them. Below are some ideas for spreading information effectively online. 

 

cancer screening
A man reads information about the importance of healthcare screenings

 

  • Social Media: Men and women are constantly scrolling Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media campaigns with eye-catching infographics and videos help spread the word. Ads can target men and women, as women play a vital role in spreading awareness and educating their partners.
  • Newsletters: Informational newsletters sent via email to both general practitioners and patients are another avenue for educating patients at a relatively low cost to healthcare providers.
  • Virtual Events: Through the COVID pandemic, virtual events have become increasingly popular. Providers should take note of this cost-effective trend. These events give providers a platform to provide in-depth education about prostate cancer and screening. They can also open lines of communication with patients, allowing men to ask questions and voice their concerns, while giving insight into areas where information strategies can be improved. Additionally, some men, reluctant to attend an in-person event, might be more willing to attend a virtual event.
  • Personal Stories: Whenever possible, it’s important to put a face to the statistics. The number above represents fathers, brothers, husbands, and uncles. With the popularity of sites like TikTok and YouTube, video is being looked to as one the most successful mediums for information-sharing. Through video, personal stories can be told in an effective and meaningful way that will both educate and connect with at-risk men. People often do not remember statistics, yet  they do remember feelings. 

 

If this country, as a whole, has learned anything throughout this past year, it is to be flexible. Experimenting with different messaging styles and mediums is important. Don’t be too rigid with any one approach. See what kind of response you get from a particular message or campaign and adjust accordingly. Just remember, you can never go wrong by getting creative.

Teleradiology

Our radiologists at Vesta are trained in all modalities including reading scans for prostate cancer. When your radiologists are not available such as nights, weekends or holidays, our US Board Certified radiologists are here to help fill in those gaps. 

Benefits of Teleradiology

Teleradiology Benefits

Teleradiology–what an innovative solution for healthcare providers and patients alike! You can simply think of teleradiology like having a radiologist on-call 24/7 for reading and interpreting all types of scans: MRIs, X-rays, CTs, DEXA, PET, DR, mammograms and other images.

What’s more, is that teleradiology enhances the level of patient care and support, because it allows radiologists to extend their expertise to patients and physicians without having to be physically there with them.

Teleradiology is efficient and cost-effective! Save on administrative costs associated with in-house radiology like travel and printing.

 A Partnership in Healthcare

Teleradiology offers chances for medical professionals to partner with one another when barriers of physical distance are present, allowing for substantial professional input regarding various diagnoses and symptoms.

A teleradiology company like Vesta can work specifically with each healthcare facility–be it a hospital, outpatient imaging center, assisted living facility or mobile imaging provider–to offer cost-effective and customizable solutions.

benefits of teleradiologists

Burnout, Retirement and Staff Shortage

We’re noticing specifically that the pandemic pushed many radiologists to retirement. Many hospital and outpatient systems have consolidated their radiology departments which prevents radiologists from providing services outside the system.

What’s more is that the stress healthcare workers feel can mount and burnout results. This can lead to mental health issues and even failure to properly read scans.

burnout radiologist
Mental health and physicians

Where can Vesta Teleradiology help? We offer consultation for all imaging modalities and we can deliver reports with fast turnaround for both STAT and Routine studies.

Your staff is important–they don’t always work around the clock and shouldn’t have to. With our teleradiology services, we fill in those gaps whether it’s during night hours, weekends, holidays–we provide 24x7x365 services. Nighthawk teleradiology coverage allows us to deliver the information your patients need and deserve.