scan at Adams Diagnostic Imaging in Gettysburg, PA

5 Most Important Things To Ask Before An Imaging Exam

Imaging tests offer non-invasive options for examining the inside of your body, making them useful for both patient and doctor. You can get the most out of one of these procedures by asking your physician the right questions.

imaging exam at Adams Diagnostic Imaging in Gettysburg, PA

If your primary care provider recommends a test, make sure to ask the below questions prior to your imaging exam.

Will My Insurance Cover the Examination?

Insurance plans have different policies regarding the coverage of diagnostic scans. When, where and why you receive your examination can all impact whether your insurance company will cover it. Before you schedule an appointment for your exam, contact your insurance and the radiology center. They can tell you about your coverage options and how much you would need to pay in co-pays.

What Will I Need to Do to Prepare for the Exam?

Most imaging examinations involve some form of preparation before the procedure. For example, some tests require a contrast solution that goes into your body through a drink or injection. Before an X-ray or MRI scan, your radiologist will ask you to remove any metal or electronic items from your body. You may need to fast before your procedure, or you might not need to prepare at all before your appointment.

How Will My Existing Health Conditions Affect My Experience?

Some medical conditions require your radiologist to adjust their examination methods. The doctor that recommends your scan might know about conditions that the radiology team will be made aware of. You can also contact your radiologist’s office to see if they need to know about specific parts of your medical history. If you had imaging scans in the past, remember to mention them as well.

What Will We Do If We Get Specific Results?

Your doctor may recommend diagnostic imaging as a way to inform your treatment. They could have a plan to follow if you receive certain results during your test. If you and your doctor have difficulty diagnosing a symptom, they may use the scan as a starting point for other tests. You can always ask your physician what to expect when you receive the diagnosis.

Do I Have Other Imaging Test Options?

Radiologists have a wide range of testing methods that they can use to diagnose medical issues. If your doctor recommends a specific test, you may have alternate options. When you ask about your other choices, your doctor can explain why they suggest the first choice and listen to your needs.

Imaging Services at Adams Diagnostic Imaging

We hope these imaging exam questions help you make informed medical decisions. For more information about imaging tests in Gettysburg, we welcome you to contact our office online or call 717-337-5991.

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MRI scan at Adams Diagnostic Imaging in Gettysburg, PA

The Full Process Of An MRI Scan

Prior to receiving diagnostic imaging, gaining an understanding of what to expect from an MRI scan can be calming. This non-invasive technique lets medical professionals examine the inside of your body.

MRI scan at Adams Diagnostic Imaging in Gettysburg, PA

Knowing what happens before, during and after an MRI can make the process more comfortable since you are more familiar with the procedure.

How to Prepare for an MRI Procedure

Before your MRI, you can continue your normal routine and take your medication unless your doctor gives you special instructions. For example, you might need to fast for two hours before undergoing an examination with a contrast agent. Inform your physician and radiology staff about your medical history. They may need to modify the examination process based on a condition you have, such as allergies, claustrophobia or pregnancy.

MRI examination preparation involves taking off items that could interfere with the magnets in the MRI machine. As you get into a medical gown, you’ll receive instructions to remove:

  • Jewelry and hair accessories
  • Wigs
  • Dentures
  • Underwire bras
  • Hearing aids
  • Glasses

You should also tell your doctor if you have any metal or electronic devices in your body, like an implant.

What to Expect During Your MRI Scan

The average MRI procedure lasts from 40 to 60 minutes. You’ll lie in the center of a large, tube-shaped MRI machine that will take pictures of your bones, organs, and tissues. As the machine scans your body, it will make knocking noises, but it will not touch you or flash. During the MRI examination, your doctor will ask you to stay as still as possible. Moving during the scan can make the resulting images look blurry. If you have difficulty staying still or feel anxious during the examination, your doctor may recommend a light sedative.

Many radiologists offer a variety of resources to help you feel relaxed during your MRI. An MRI technician will oversee the procedure and talk to you as you receive the scan. Wearing a sleeping mask can help you stay still and calm throughout the scan.

After Your Appointment

You can go back to your everyday activities after your examination unless you receive a sedative. If you have sedation during the procedure, your radiologist will let you know when you can get back to work or school. Once your doctor receives the scan results, they’ll contact you about the next steps.

MRIs at Adams Diagnostic Imaging

When you get an MRI at Adams Diagnostic Imaging, you get expert care from Gettysburg’s top radiologists. To learn more about our radiology services, contact our team online or call 717-337-5991.

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Proper Screening and Lifestyle Changes Can Impact Cancer Risk

women wearing pink for breast cancer awareness

When Cheryl and her husband of thirty-five years sold their business and headed off to retirement, they looked forward to having more time to dedicate to their three children and four grandchildren. Discovering a lump in her left breast while on vacation dramatically altered their retirement plans and her outlook on the future. With no family history of breast cancer, the results of her mammogram were stunning. Cheryl was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative ductal carcinoma breast cancer.

Cheryl is not unlike many thousands of women who receive an unexpected breast cancer diagnosis. While aware of the disease and its impact on the lives of those suffering from it, the thought of receiving the bad news is one stuck in the back of the mind, hopefully never to be realized.

In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. Death rates have been decreasing since 1989, but approximately 40,920 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2018 from breast cancer. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. The two most common risk factors are gender and growing older. While you can’t change some breast cancer risk factors there are some risk factors that you can control.

Personal behaviors, such as diet and exercise, and taking medicines that contain hormones can impact the chances of getting breast cancer. Drinking alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Being overweight or obese increases the risk in women after menopause. The American Cancer Society recommends you stay at a healthy weight throughout your life and avoid excess weight gain by balancing your food intake with physical activity. Moderate and vigorous physical activity lowers risk for postmenopausal breast cancer. Vigorous physical activity lowers risk for pre-menopausal breast cancer, according to the recently released American Institute for Cancer Research “Breast Cancer Report.”

Early detection of breast cancer is the leading factor in the historic decline in cancer deaths. With screening mammography, treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread. Results from randomized clinical trials and other studies show that screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74.

“The importance of love and life hits you square in the face and it takes a strong toll on your body and spirit,” says Cheryl of her diagnosis and treatment regimen. Today she is more than one year cancer free.

For more than 25 years, Gettysburg Cancer Center has been committed to providing cancer care in a community-based setting close to home. The all-encompassing oncology and hematology programs provide a complete range of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for all types of cancer.

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Cigarette Smoking a Leading Cause of Preventable Death in United States

man holding cigarette

On the last Sunday in November 2017, television viewers and print media readers experienced a dramatic moment that continues into this year. The three major U.S. tobacco companies were ordered by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to issue the first in what will be a series of five “corrective statements” about their products. The corrective statements are the result of a federal racketeering lawsuit brought against the tobacco companies in 1999 by the Department of Justice. These court-ordered statements, which cover five different topic areas, explain in detail and in plain language the reality of the health harms inflicted by tobacco products upon users. Not that the harmful effects of cigarette smoking on a smoker’s health is anything new. Since the 1960’s, smokers and non-smokers alike have been bombarded with packaging warnings, public awareness campaigns and tobacco advertising bans. In case someone missed the multitude of discussions, the new statements should leave little doubt about the dangers of smoking tobacco.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing nearly 30 percent of cancer deaths across the country. Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Among those, at least 69 can cause cancer. While we are all aware that smoking causes cancer, smoking also harms nearly every bodily organ and organ system in the body and diminishes a person’s overall health. Among the cancers caused are: lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Smoking also causes heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts, and worsens asthma symptoms in adults. There is no safe level of smoking. Smoking even just one cigarette per day over a lifetime can cause smoking-related cancers and premature death.

Despite all the good reasons to quit, kicking the smoking habit is extremely difficult. Studies show that most smokers picked up the habit as a teenager. Cigarettes contain various amounts of Nicotine, the highly addictive drug primarily responsible for a person’s addiction to tobacco products, so quitting can be very difficult even for those already diagnosed with cancer. A study by American Cancer Society researchers found that about 1 in 10 cancer survivors still reports smoking about 9 years after a cancer diagnosis. Lead author Lee Westmaas, PhD, American Cancer Society Director of Tobacco Control Research, says, “Doctors and health care providers must continue to ask survivors about their smoking and provide resources, including medications and counseling, to help them quit.”

Cessation has immediate benefits to a smoker. Ex-smokers suffer from fewer illnesses, lower rates of pneumonia and are healthier overall than people who continue to smoke. Regardless of age, smokers can substantially reduce their risk of bad health. Smokers who quit before age 40 reduce their chance of dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases by about 90%, and the reduction for those who quit by age 45-54 is about two-thirds.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other agencies and organizations can help smokers quit. For more information on organizations that can help you quit smoking, contact the NCI Smoking Quitline at 1–877–44U–QUIT (1–877–448–7848) for individualized counseling, printed information, and referrals to other sources.