Preventative Scans: Catch Problems Before They Get Serious
The verdict has been in for years; preventative scans save lives. Getting a yearly checkup and screening not only catches disease or chronic illness in the early stages, but it also gives you the best chance of surviving and overcoming it. Everything from your age to your gender or race can impact which screenings you individually choose to have done. Here are just a few examples of preventative scans that can potentially prolong your life:
Heart problems take years to develop and often show very few symptoms before things get serious. Screening for heart problems with a cardiac CT or carotid IMT scans can give you a jump-start on potential medical or lifestyle changes.
A cardiac CT scan uses a contrasting dye (usually iodine-based). This is injected in a vein, and then a CT imaging scan of the heart is done. This can produce a 3D image of the heart that can show potential blockages, so your doctor can predict whether a major cardiac event is in your future.
Carotid IMT (CIMT)
This is a test that can detect hardening of the arteries. It’s a noninvasive test that uses ultrasound to detect the thickness of your arteries. Doctors can then analyze the results and tell whether you’re at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Preventative scans for colon health can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer by up to 90 percent. Everyone is recommended to get either an optical or virtual colonoscopy once every 10 years, starting at age 50 (age 45 for African Americans).
A flexible tube is used to look at the inner lining of the large intestine and colon. This allows doctors to detect polyps and other problems early, before they have a chance to develop into cancer.
This is a cheaper and less invasive method of colon scanning. The doctor makes a 3D image of the colon and large intestine using a CT scan. It’s effective at detecting more than 90 percent of all polyps, which can potentially develop into cancer.
There are a number of other screenings you should talk with your doctor about. For example, bone density scans are recommended for older women, and prostate screenings for men. These preventative scans can make a world of difference in your quality of life as you age.
To find out more about scans that could benefit you, and to find a local specialist in your area, click here!