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. 

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
A radiologist examines an x-ray

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
Teleradiology offers hospitals and healthcare facilities an efficient way of completing interpretations

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.

 

Patient Safety Awareness Week: What Can Imaging Centers Do?

The foundation of health care lies with a diagnosis. Sometimes, medical professionals have barriers to providing an accurate diagnosis because they do not have the lab space or time.

This is where medical imaging centers offer invaluable assistance.

What are Imaging Centers?

Imaging centers are medical facilities run by board-certified and trained radiologists, emphasizing diagnostic and preventive healthcare. They provide a host of diagnostic tools and scans to protect and maintain your health by detecting health issues in their early stages.

What Can Imaging Centers Do?

Medical imaging centers use imaging diagnostic tools, and early-detection radiology scans to provide the following preventative screening services:

Heart Scan: This exam is a pain-free, non-invasive, highly accurate scan that only takes five minutes.

Lung Scan: Those who have ever smoked may be at higher risk for lung cancer, which can be detected with a low radiation scan.

Virtual Colonoscopy: This minimally invasive and accurate scan should be done every five years, and it is so gentle that patients do not require anesthesia.

Diagnostic Tools

Imaging centers have various tools and scans that allow physicians to monitor your health and notice potential problems. These machines often include:

X-Rays: Most people have taken at least one x-ray in their lifetime, typically at the dentist or hospital. They are a non-invasive and pain-free procedure that gives doctors a look inside the body.

 

MRI: A magnetic resonance imaging scan is another non-invasive diagnostic tool that creates images of your body’s internal systems using radio waves and magnets. MRIs are usually more detailed and are a safe way to diagnose and prevent issues. 

 

CT scan: Computed tomography scan works in tandem with specialized x-ray equipment and state-of-the-art computer systems to produce highly detailed images of the inside of the body, which can be used to identify and treat medical conditions.

 

PET/CT scan: A positron emission tomography scan is an imaging test that looks for signs of disease within the body by injecting tracers into the vein and following them under a PET scanner. This is a great way to visualize how well your tissues and organs are functioning.

When you work with an imaging center, you work alongside medical experts, including board-certified cardiologists, radiologists, pathologists, teleradiologists, and other subspecialists.

Benefits of Imaging Centers

The primary benefit of imaging centers is that they help medical professionals to detect and diagnose any disease at its most treatable, early stages. These diagnostic tools are essential in helping patients heal and survive. When you catch a medical issue early, you reduce the need for costly and invasive procedures.

Imaging center employees have the dual responsibility of caring for their patients while advocating for their safety throughout the process. Radiology and diagnostic tools, while minimally invasive, still present specific patient safety issues. Radiologists must ensure that patients and staff are protected from being directly harmed.

Patient Safety Awareness Week

Patient Safety Tips

Imaging centers can increase patient safety by ensuring that the environment is kept sanitary, quiet, with restorative lighting to encourage patient rest.

Creating a safe patient environment involves more than ensuring patient happiness. It involves high-quality patient care that is effective and efficient.

As part of a team caring for patients, radiologists are responsibility for patient safety, which can involve:

Patient safety is a crucial aspect of patient care and involves engaging and educating patients and their families. Health care providers are tasked to listen to their patients to support patient safety initiatives.

 

Teleradiology Services from Vesta

Vesta’s Teleradiology services benefit your healthcare facility because our processes integrate with your workflow. This level of efficiency helps you to better serve your patient with the quality care they need.

Improving Patient Care with Innovative Technology

Tech in Hospitals Today

Physicians in private practice continually seek new ways to improve their patient’s care. Technology has provided an efficient and cost-effective way to maximize the delivery of health care services.

Medical communication between primary care, specialists, laboratory analysts, and hospitals has been improved and expedited through the efficiency of mobile technology and online resources.

Staff can update patient charts throughout an entire system with one update. Physicians can prescribe treatment plans within minutes, whereas before, information would sometimes take days.

The medical profession has mostly eliminated paper charts. Unique office organization methods (and some problematic handwriting) are no longer an issue with medical updating.

Technology has also offered physicians the ability to expand their office business using mobile devices and laptops. Physicians can visit and provide updates to their patients who can remain in the comfort of their homes.

Technology has provided physicians the ability to monitor special needs patients at home or in hospital settings without leaving their offices. This ability reduces the possible transmission of disease and infection from sources outside the patient’s environment.

Evolving Technology

Paper replacement and monitoring are not the only promising technology additions that will benefit physicians’ offices in the future.

Handheld ultrasound imaging has become affordable equipment. Researchers figured out how to put ultrasound technology into a computer chip rather than a $100,000 machine in a hospital. The program simply connects to an iPhone app.

 

Faster, more efficient diagnostic information is available within the confines of a physician’s office now. Programs are available that can scan the 2 million peer-reviewed research papers published every year. Clinical trial results and biomedical information can provide a physician with relationships between drugs, disease, and genes within a few minutes.

Digital capture of radiology imaging allows teleradiology reduced records to be transported almost immediately to any specialist with an internet connection. Time-sensitive treatments for head injuries and strokes can be prescribed, and more lives in rural and remote locations will be saved.

The future holds more integration of telemedicine and decision support systems for physicians. Equipment and smaller devices are more affordable to the physicians as well.

More services such as more complex surgeries may be available to physicians’ offices. With the advancement of telementoring and telerobotic surgeries, physicians may perform surgeries in their offices that would typically be performed in a hospital.

tech in hospitals

Evidence-based information and technologies can improve patient care, save lives, and save money anywhere and everywhere the internet is available–even from the physician’s office.

Vesta’s Tech Solutions

 

Vesta Teleradiology wants to improve both your experience as well as your patients’ experience. That’s why we offer tools and customizable reports that work WITH your current workflow as well as offering teleradiology to supplement your current needs. Efficiency, quick turnaround times and US Board Certified Radiologists are what make Vesta a formidable partner for your healthcare facility.

Medical Imaging Tech and Trends to Look Forward to in 2022

Medical Imaging is one of the most visionary and engaging fields in the healthcare industry. As technology grows and develops in this burgeoning field, now is an exciting time to be a part of it.

We’ve compiled a few of the latest and most exciting innovations that have the potential to enhance medical imaging and patient care greatly.

3D Printing Technology and the Future

mri 3d printing

3D printing technology has been around since the 1980s, and in that time, it has aided many healthcare professionals and is positioned to be an essential factor in the future of medicine. From the very beginning, the medical field has been able to implement it in so many areas, including customizable implants and medical devices, designing anatomical models, aiding in medical and dental procedures, and 3D bioprinting.

 3D scans and models can help guide surgeons through diagnostics and complex procedures.

A great example is the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where cardiologists use 3D printing to better view a patient’s heart before an operation. 3D modeling assisted doctors with selecting the correct sized valve and seeing where to best position it.  

MRI  Innovations

Magnetic resonance imaging uses advanced technology to produce 3D, incredibly-detailed images of patient anatomy. Almost everyone has heard of the MRI machine and its incredible potential for diagnosing health issues and standardizing treatment. Few pictures are as clear and accurate as an MRI, and it is used in almost any medical or dental field. Plus, it is safer than traditional x-rays since it does not utilize radiation.

It’s not a stretch to realize that the MRI market will continue to grow by 2022 to keep up with an aging population and help reduce the spread of disease.

Enterprise Imaging Technology

Enterprise imaging allows medical professionals to consolidate medical imaging data into a streamlined platform. This means better patient medical records, more accessible access for healthcare professionals, efficient data control, and better medical management.

The future of medical imaging technology centers around increased accessibility between all health systems and medical facilities. Doctors, physicians, nurses, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals can easily access reports and images across multiple service lines, allowing them to provide better service to their patients and consolidate work procedures.

In the future, we can expect the role of medical imaging to increase and grow as technologies like medical sensors, artificial intelligence, better computing power, and cloud-based software take a seat in the medical field. Data will continue to grow and be consolidated, and we can only expect patient services to improve, as well.

At Vesta, we are always at the forefront of new technology and imaging innovations. Our goal is to utilize technology to help you better help your patients. In addition to radiology services, we also offer an array of IT services. We integrate PACS teleradiology and RIS information systems to improve your workflow timelines.

Let us know how we can help your healthcare facility–call us at 877-55-VESTA.

Pillars in Radiology History, Past, and Present

Pillars in Radiology History, Past, and Present

Radiology is a phenomenal tool. Medical teams depend on it to guide diagnosis and treatments. As a product of the early twentieth century, it is hard to imagine how medicine functioned without it. Today, our world is a much better place thanks to the people who discovered and developed the powers of radiology.

The father of radiology is Wilhelm Roentgen. Beginning with an interest in cathode rays in October of 1895, he is credited with having detected electromagnetic radiation in a specific type of wavelength on November 8, 1895. From that point, Roentgen submitted his first publication titled “On a New Kind of Rays” on December 28, 1895. When Roentgen was asked what he thought when he made his discovery, he responded, “I didn’t think, I investigated.”  Encouraged to name his discovery Roentgen Rays, he chose the letter “X” to name the rays due to their mysterious and unknown nature. The famed X-ray picture of his wife’s hand shows her bones and wedding ring, clearly indicating the rays would not penetrate bone or metal.  Few discoveries have gained notoriety as quickly as Roentgen’s did. Within a year, X-rays had changed the fields of physics and medicine exponentially. It earned him the inaugural Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901and opened doors for Roentgen personally and professionally, some of which he appreciated and some he did not. While he did not accept the title leading to German nobility offered to him, he did agree to accept the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine his university extended to him.

first ever xray
First medical X-ray by Wilhelm Röntgen of his wife’s hand

In addition, he donated his Nobel Prize earnings to his university, Wuerzburg University in Germany. An indication of his impeccable character. He never took any patents on X-rays. He wanted the world to benefit from his work freely. Consequently, he died almost bankrupt during World War I, but his goal was achieved. The world has benefited greatly from his work.

After Roentgen’s discovery, other scientists soon followed with further exploration of the rays. The first scientists to extend Roentgen’s work were Sir William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg. They are a father and son who earned the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915 together specifically, “for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays” soon to be known as Crystallography, the basis for analytic chemistry. “The diffraction of X-rays by crystals,” written in 1922 by William Henry Bragg, describes their beginning work. Credited with the creation of Bragg’s Law, learning the atomic structures of viruses, proteins, gemstones, and more has been possible.

Many scientific fields were developed from Roentgen’s discovery of the X-ray. Major names of the time, such as Albert Einstein, who established matter and energy to be equal in 1903, were contenders in the study of unseen forces associated with Roentgen’s work as well. Considering the most evocative pioneering scientists, perhaps the most influential one was Marie Curie.

Intently studying Roentgen’s work, Marie Curie took an interest in uranium, the weaker ray, also called Becquerel rays. Studying its compounds, she eventually identified that the electrical effects of uranium rays are constant, which led to a monumental shift in the understanding of the structure of the atom, which led to the development of radioactivity. With this information, she determined radiation is a powerful tool with a wide range of potential applications, including diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Her continued work with her discovery of radium not only earned her a second Nobel Prize, but today we have vast benefits from her discoveries, including nuclear energy and radiotherapy (RT), a treatment for cancer.

Vesta Teleradiology

We truly applaud and honor these individuals for their immense contributions. As a teleradiology service provider, we understand that delivering accurate interpretations along with stellar support is how we can continue to contribute to the overall mission of helping others, ultimately the healthcare provider and their patients.

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.

5 Tips for Women’s Wellness Healthcare Facility

The fitness and wellness industry has become one of the biggest markets in the world. If you are the owner of a women’s health or wellness center, there is great potential for growth in this $3.4 trillion industry. This competitive industry is constantly creating new approaches to attract patients. If you are searching for new ideas to enhance your wellness center and the care for your patients, here are 5 tips for increasing patient flow.

  1. teleradiology service for women's clinicOffer educational workshops and speakers. Being able to have a cup of coffee and listen to an informed speaker on a subject of interest can bring in more patients. Those who want to help themselves or improve their life will like this approach. Stress-free opportunities to listen and learn about money management, cooking, gardening, yoga, fashion, or more could entice women with enjoying a nonthreatening space to absorb information. These could be mini-breakout sessions of an upcoming wellness conference which may interest participants to attend.
  2. Bundle services. Having one facility that offers multiple services is attractive. Women are busy. Their time is valuable. If there was an opportunity to make one stop to take care of a mammogram, pedicure, and haircut (for example) many women would like this option. In addition, having a nonjudgmental environment to talk to a therapist on a variety of topics such as mental health issues, menopause, and sexual health could bring in more patients.
  3. Act as a safehouse. Employing experienced professionals who have the awareness and abilities to support women in crisis is needed in every city in the world. Doctors, psychologists, and lawyers on site who are in place to readily protect and prevent violence against women and their children will attract patients. Partnering with local authorities may bring wellness center funding opportunities.
  4. Incorporate wellness retreats. Offering purposeful, affordable, well designed retreats for specific groups allows wellness opportunities beyond the wellness center facility. Programs organized with the intentional components of mental, emotional, physical, and social can provide transformational experiences for patients. These deep connections can be life changing and create interest in future retreats.
     
  5. Outsource your radiology imaging needs to a reliable teleradiology service. With this service, a patient can have her mammogram, ultrasound, or other imaging service performed, screened, and sent digitally to all parties involved. The image and its information is compressed and encrypted and stored in a database server accessed by the radiologist, provider, transcriber, and other workers across geographically diverse facilities. The final report is automatically sent to the doctor and the original facility. This saves time and allows you to focus more on attracting new patients.

ultrasound
Vesta Teleradiology has been assisting Women’s Wellness centers, hospitals, mobile imaging, assisted living and other imaging centers for nearly 15 years. It’s not just our speedy service and accurate readings from US Board Certified radiologists, it’s our ability to help you customize the service to tailor it to your facility and patients. Look to Vesta if you want accuracy, speed, affordability, support and customization.

How Does Mobile Imaging Help Improve Patient Care at an Assisted Living Facility?

As radiography technology has evolved, so has the experience of the typical resident in a nursing home or assisted living facility. X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds are commonly needed to help diagnose residents of these communities with an appropriate treatment plan. The availability of mobile imaging improves patient care and quality of life in a multitude of ways.

assisted living teleradiology
Mobile imaging provides easier access for residents requiring these services.

Improved Access

With the immediate availability of mobile imaging onsite, more patients can access this type of diagnostic care. In a study conducted by BMC Health Services, researchers found that without mobile access, the use of diagnostic imaging for nursing home patients decreased by almost a third, from 14,500 to only 10,305. This data suggests that the ease of access to mobile radiography ensures that more patients receive the diagnostic care they need.

Fewer Transfers

Many risks are associated with transferring the elderly, especially those with mobility issues. By keeping radiology onsite, fewer transfers to hospitals and other centers will need to occur. A study in Norway found that transfers to a hospital’s radiology department were avoided in 71 percent of cases. This dramatic difference makes patient care simpler and more streamlined, and more importantly, it affords fewer opportunities for the elderly to sustain injuries, thereby increasing patient safety.

teleradiology for nursing home
There are risks associated with transferring the elderly, especially those who have mobility issues.

Reduced Spread of Contagious Diseases

The use of mobile imaging can help reduce the spread of contagious diseases like COVID-19. Rather than transferring patients out to imaging centers and increasing the number of people they come into contact with, a nursing home can have in-house imaging staff. A study out of Italy showed the potential for mobile imaging to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when certain safety protocols were followed.

Faster Imaging Results

A study conducted in Norway by BMC Health Services Research looked at the results of mobile imaging and found it to be of the same quality as hospital imaging. This research also concluded mobile radiography leads to a faster diagnosis. Offsite imaging can equate to days or weeks of wait time for interpreting results. If a scan is faulty and a patient needs to return for another scan, this wait time can become detrimentally long. With faster results, doctors can work quickly to begin treatment and improve outcomes. 

Better Treatment Plans

By having radiology staff on-site, doctors can better prescribe treatment plans specific to a patient’s needs. The aforementioned study in Norway also found that access to treatments improved with onsite mobile imaging in addition to patients receiving more specialized care.

Teleradiology Company that Fits Your Needs

teleradiology services
Vesta has been providing stellar teleradiology services for over 15 years.

For these reasons and more, it is imperative that nursing homes and assisted living communities work with an experienced teleradiology company to improve the quality of care for residents. Vesta Teleradiology provides nighthawk services with expert and customizable interpretations, thereby improving health outcomes for your entire community. Quality patient care is our top priority as well as giving assisted living facility or nursing home operators flexible and cost-effective, expert service.

Sarcoma & Bone Cancer Awareness Month: Newest Technology in Imaging

July is Bone Cancer and Sarcoma Awareness Month. According to the American Association for Cancer Research, in 2021, around 13,000 Americans will be diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, while 3,600 will be diagnosed with bone cancer. Luckily, the 5-year survival rate of both types of cancer is fairly high (65 for soft tissue and 66.8 for bone). In a comprehensive study from 1978 to 2004, the survival rate of these types of cancers has improved dramatically, thanks in part to improvements in imaging and early detection.

bone cancer
Sarcoma is a broad term for a group of cancers found in the bone.

Advances in Radiography

While x-ray technology has been used in a health context since 1899, many features surrounding it have changed. X-rays are now more defined with higher resolution, allowing doctors to zoom in to see smaller tumors and other issues. In fact, this past year, scientists at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg have broken the record for x-ray resolution, down to under 10 nanometers. Furthermore, the process of obtaining can now be digitized, rather than having to use a darkroom to develop scans. These developments make radiology more accessible to patients and provide more immediate results, which helps bone cancer and sarcoma patients get diagnosed earlier when time is of the essence. There are multiple types of radiography used in diagnosing these types of cancer, and specific advances have emerged and evolved the diagnostic process for each type.

 

Bone Scans

During bone scans, a patient is injected with a tracer that allows oncologists to see abnormalities. Recent changes in bone scans allow doctors to quantify the metastasis of a bone from a scan. Bone scans can sometimes occur as a diagnostic tool before a CT scan, PET scan, or MRI.

 

CT Scans

CT scans can be ordered with “contrast,” where the patient swallows or takes an IV containing a dye. This can help doctors see certain organs more clearly. These scans can also help doctors see a cross-section of parts of the body and different perspectives of organs than they’d be able to see with a typical x-ray. The latest advancements in CT scans now offerlower radiation exposure by splitting the x-ray beams, making these procedures safer than ever.

 

PET Scans 

Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is an emerging tool for bone cancer patients receiving radiation treatments. This tool is now being used increasingly by doctors to monitor tumors between treatments. These advanced scans allow more doctors to receive more information, including receptor expression and metabolism of a tumor. This information helps doctors to understand whether or not a particular type of treatment is working to shrink tumors and to help assess the appropriate dosage.

 

MRI Scans

Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans help oncologists to see the extent of bone and soft tissue cancers by taking cross-sections of affected organs and allowing them to be displayed at different angles. These are taken around a patient while a patient lies still inside a long tube. The most recent changes in MRI technologyhave occurred on the software side. One relevant change includes faster scan times, thereby reducing costs and discomfort for the patient. Furthermore, multiple layers of contrast can now be taken from a single scan, allowing doctors to highlight different issues easily.

bone cancer imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) image of human skeleton. MRI diagnoses Ewing’s sarcoma of the right hip. Source: National Cancer Institute

While bone and soft tissue cancers affect many Americans, advancement in imaging tools helps provide clarity and hope for these patients.

Tech Innovation in Teleradiology

Vesta Teleradiology prides itself in being a top innovator in technology and was even awarded this recognition in 2020 by Technology Innovators. We truly understand the importance of keeping up with medical and technological advancements in radiology, imaging and health.

 

Come to us for teleradiology services for your outpatient imaging centers, nursing homes, hospitals, mobile imaging, wellness centers and urgent care facilities. Expect flexible yet speedy service, with quality interpretations and customizable reports. Please contact us for a quote.