Monthly Archives: March 2014

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Walking You Through a Breast MRI

 

The American College of Radiology recently composed a list of guidelines to follow when considering a breast MRI.

“Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast is a useful tool for the detection and characterization of breast disease, assessment of local extent of the disease, evaluation of treatment response, and guidance for biopsy and localization.”

The Uses:

Screening: Specifically high-risk patients can benefit from this screening. Breast MRIs are often used as surveillance for women with a 20% lifetime risk or more of breast cancer based on their genetics.

It’s important to understand that a screening MRI may not reduce mortality, but the MRI screening may improve odds of early detection, allowing patients to start treatment earlier, thereby increasing survival rates.

The MRI scan is also more suited for patients with breast implants who would normally have difficulty with a mammography.

Extent of Disease: Generally, “MRI determines the extent of disease more accurately than standard mammography and physical examination in many patients.”

Breast MRIs can be used before, during, and/or after chemotherapy as well. The scan can help evaluate the treatment and how the body is responding as well as detect any residual disease.

Other Findings: Breast MRI scans can be useful to detect the recurrence of breast cancer (when other scans are inconclusive) and detecting cancers whose primary is unknown.

Clinical trials demonstrate that a breast MRI can locate breast cancer in over half of women where the mass cannot be seen with conventional mammography.

Breast MRI scans can also help characterize lesions when biopsy cannot be performed or help for a MRI-guided biopsy.

However: It’s important to remember that a breast MRI…

  • It’s not recommended for the general population
  • Can cause a false positive, which is why an initial biopsy confirmation is suggested
  • Should not supplement mammography and ultrasound scans as diagnostic procedures

“Documentation that satisfies medical necessity includes 1) signs and symptoms and/or 2) relevant history (including known diagnoses).”

If you would like more information on breast MRI scans, you can read more from the American College of Radiology here.

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Beer: Good for the Soul, Good for the Bones

Beer: Good for the Soul, Good for the BonesAre you the kind of person who justifies your happy hour? “Well, I skipped dessert…I had a long week…It’s Friday!”

Now, you add “It’s for my health” to the list.

Thanks to ScienceDaily.com, we found out about this new study that suggests “beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, a key ingredient for increasing bone mineral density.”

The research was done at the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California.

Although the brewing properties have not been extensively studied, the researchers have explored a wide range of beer types and their respective silicon content. They’ve also explored the other raw materials and their impact.

The silicon in beer is actually a “soluble form of orthosilicic acid (OSA),” which is important in the development of bone and connective tissue. Based on this research, it could be possible that moderate beer consumption can help fight osteoporosis.

The silicon comes, mostly, from the barley in beer, and they’re usually recognized because it’s the paler beers. The darker beers, like malts, have significantly less silicon. Still, silicon is also found in hops, so the more hops, the more silicon.

You can read more about the study here.