Trends in medicine change over time, and generally it’s for the best. In the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, the prescription drug market was booming. Scientists and physicians were able to create drugs that prevented, treated, and even cured disease processes and ailments that were previously hard for patients to live with. Common examples were medications for treatment of high blood pressure or high cholesterol, esophageal reflux disease, joint pain, erectile dysfunction, and even more severe disease processes like certain cancers.
These drugs were, and in many cases still are, akin to miracle treatments for patients with chronic illnesses. The big problem with the mindset during this period was that it caused patients and providers to treat symptoms, and sometimes miss the root cause of the illness.
This type of care could be considered “reactive care,” meaning, when something breaks, we fix it. As the years went on, the medical community realized that this type of medicine has inherent flaws. This included the side effects of certain medications as well as the spiderweb of health conditions that are caused when the primary illness is not treated.
Physicians have made a huge shift over the past couple of decades toward a more sustainable practice: preventative medicine. While treating the symptoms of illnesses is important, the medical community has realized that, whenever possible, preventing the illness in the first place is more important. Hence the birth of preventative care.
Preventative care can range from physical exercise, to proactive lab testing, to mental health awareness. Oftentimes, a practical knowledge of a patient’s personal and family medical history can help physicians create a tailored action plan to pick up disease processes that individuals may be prone to.
Physicians understand that in order to create a preventative healthcare roadmap, they need to know what condition their patients are currently in. Radiology offers a window to the human body that sets it apart from any other specialty. The Radiology Clinic offers multiple screening/preventative health tools to help providers get a better understanding about the baseline health of their patients and where to go from there.
- Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring
Chronic heart disease is one of the most common ailments throughout the world. Using a low dose CT Scan, The Radiology Clinic offers Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring examinations to our patients. The exam only takes about 15 minutes. Patients lie on the CT table and are hooked up to EKG leads. A registered technologist will place the patient in position and perform the scan.Throughout our lives, a waxy substance (plaque) can build up in our arteries causing a condition referred to as atherosclerosis, also called “hardening of the arteries”. This buildup can cause blockages and lead to an early onset of heart disease, stroke, or heart attack. Using the information provided by the Coronary Artery Calcium Score, we are able to measure, or “score”, the amount of hard plaque within the vessels. Calcium score results can help providers anticipate the risk of heart disease in certain patients and develop a preventative plan to reduce the risk of future events.
- Low Dose Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. While lung cancer is often treatable in early stages, it’s generally caught in the later stages of the disease. Unfortunately, at this point, the prognosis is poor. The good news is that preventative medicine has afforded us a way to help catch lung cancer in its infancy: Low Dose Lung Cancer Screening. The Radiology Clinic is an ACR certified lung cancer screening facility and proud to offer this service to our community.While this service can be provided to anyone at risk, most major insurance carriers authorize this examination for patients who meet certain criteria. These are most often individuals who are between the ages of 55-77 years of age, have a 30+ pack year history, are asymptomatic, and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Catching and treating lung cancer early will always provide the best possible outcome for patients with this disease.
At The Radiology Clinic, we understand that prevention is the best medicine. Our practice provides the highest quality medical imaging in the region. We continually tailor our services to assure that we offer our community the most up to date preventative screening tools available. If you feel that you could benefit from screening examinations, contact your provider. Utilizing shared decision making, you and your provider can decide which study is right for you based on your specific risk factors.
The Radiology Clinic / 301-217-0500 / 14995 Shady Grove Rd, Suite 140, Rockville, MD 20850
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