Blog - July 2016

Run, Walk, Play but DON'T SKIP! (The 23rd Annual Komen Race for the Cure)

Posted on July 29, 2016 in mammography

Diagnostic Imaging Centers is teaming up with Susan G. Komen of Greater Kansas City as the local presenting sponsor for their annual Race for the Cure, now in its 23rd year (!). This year’s Race for the Cure is scheduled for August 14th and is back at Union Station.

While nothing in life is guaranteed, we know that certain behaviors make certain results more likely. For instance, studying tends to improve test results. And practicing the piano makes for a better recital. And most important for this powerful fundraising event… funding research brings us steps closer to a cure for breast cancer.

The Race for the Cure is guaranteed to be fun and inspirational. There is no more awesome site on an early August morning than a sea of people in every shade of pink - united in the cause to end breast cancer forever. This race event will encompass people from all parts of our city, from all walks of life. There will be athletes of the serious and non-serious variety, survivors, co-survivors and all kinds of caring people - united we will be!

As medical doctors, we dream of the day when breast cancer is no longer a threat to women’s and men’s lives. We have a long road before we reach that destination, so until we reach our goal the best defense against breast cancer is early detection. Simply put, early detection saves lives. Come see our latest tool in the fight - Diagnostic Imaging Centers’ 3D Mobile Mammography Coach will be on site at the race!

Help us support our great Komen Kansas City affiliate on Sunday August 14. Some of us will run, some will walk, everyone will play - and we know you won’t want to skip out on this opportunity to celebrate yourself and your sisters (and mothers and daughters and friends…). See you there!



Register or donate here.

Race event opens: 7am on Sunday, August 14th, 2016 at Union Station in Kansas City.

Find a detailed race day schedule here.


(Image credit: CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)


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Numbers To Know - Men's Edition

Posted on July 21, 2016 in general radiology




Age at which men should start getting PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests.

Just like in women, 40 is the age where proactive steps can help you be your healthiest. Prostate cancer is common in men, and the risk is greater as men age. Fortunately, most prostate cancers are slow growing and treatable - especially when found early. This is why a simple screening blood test to determine the level of PSA and a physical exam by your doctor make sense.





Number of men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in adult males in the  US. Screening with PSA testing and physical exams reduces the risk of death from prostate cancer - by as much as 44%!





Age at which almost half of testicular cancers are found. Testicular cancer is rare. Again, treatment is most successful when found early. This is why prompt reporting of any lumps or changes should prompt a doctor’s evaluation. Even lumps found after trauma are important - don’t assume the lump is related to your injury until you see your doctor. Ultrasound is often used as a way of imaging the scrotum when there is a lump or pain.





Number of men who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime (no, it’s not just for women!). Men do get breast cancer. In males, cancer of the breast is usually found either by the patient or on a physical exam by your doctor. Remember, just as in women, if you do find a lump it is likely the finding will be benign or non-cancerous, with benign development of breast tissue a common cause of symmetric lumps in the tissue behind the nipples in men. The only way to know for sure is to be evaluated by your doctor who may send you for imaging after examining you. Imaging for men will follow much the same guidelines as for women, with evaluation starting with a mammogram and often followed by breast ultrasound.





Number of deaths for men from heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of adult men and women - by far. Risk factors include: smoking, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, family history, obesity, diabetes and inactivity. If you have risk factors, a CT coronary calcium score can be one more tool used to assess your risk. This is a simple, quick CT done to assess the presence of calcium in the arteries of your heart which is a marker for atherosclerosis or thickening and hardening of the arteries. The results are reported in comparison with others your age and sex and can help determine if further treatment or evaluation are needed.





Percentage of patients with hypertension who don’t have their BP controlled. A failing grade! Know your numbers! Blood pressure can be controlled by modifications in diet, exercise and often with medications. Keeping that blood pressure healthy helps keep your heart and all of your blood vessels - including those going to your brain! - healthy.





Numbers of years of life expectancy lost from smoking. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable deaths. If you do use tobacco, get help to quit for good. If you have a smoking history of more than 30 pack years (meaning you have smoked at least 1 pack per day for over 30 years or its equivalent) and are over the age of 55, you should be getting annual low dose screening CT chest evaluations. Screening with low dose CT has been proven to reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer.

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A Pain in the Back: Your Radiologist Can Help!

Posted on July 13, 2016 in general radiology

Back pain is common - in fact, low back pain is the fifth most common complaint bringing you to see your doctor. It turns out, our backs are not made well for upright existence!  


It has been shown that most back pain will resolve with conservative treatment - things like physical therapy and sometimes oral steroids - in 8 weeks, even if you have an abnormal bulging or protruding disc. Compounding this, we see lots of abnormal findings involving your spine on imaging, many of which are not related to symptoms.


Because of the above, several organizations including the American College of Physicians have made recommendations concerning when and if imaging for your back pain is a good idea.


In general, imaging for back pain is not recommended in the first 6 weeks of symptoms except for the following:

  • Major trauma (like a car accident or fall)
  • Known cancer
  • Changes in ability to control bowel or bladder
  • Fever or other signs your back pain could be from an infection
  • Sudden low back pain with focal tenderness on exam


Imaging of the spine may be indicated after a trial of conservative therapy without relief in the following settings:

  • Your pain is associated with numbness or tingling in your legs or with loss of strength
  • Pain associated with weight loss
  • You have risk factors for fractures such as osteoporosis or prolonged steroid use
  • Your doctor is concerned about spinal stenosis
  • Intervention such as injections are planned


If imaging is indicated, plain films, CT and MRI are all options. Which imaging study is best is based on a combination of your symptoms and the likelihood of the origin of your pain. Imaging of the spine can include:

  • Plain films or radiographs are used to look for fractures or malalignment.
  • CT is excellent for showing the bones in detail.
  • MRI is excellent for showing the discs, nerves and bones.

Back pain is a significant issue for many. We hope this helps explain why imaging may or may not be a part of your evaluation.




(Image credit: Low back pain by Harrygouvas at Greek Wikipedia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons)


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