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New Breakthrough Test For Alzheimer’s Disease

As their parents are getting older, my friends approach me with their concerns. Some of these parents are becoming more forgetful. Some are changing their personalities, becoming angrier, stubborn or confused. My friends ask whether this is a normal part of aging, or if this is dementia. They are terrified that their parents are suffering the beginnings of Alzheimer s disease. Until recently, there have been few tests able to detect Alzheimer’s disease. New cutting edge technology has given us a test that shows incredible promise.

Q: What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Lung Cancer Screening

Many of my close friends’ parents and grandparents smoked cigarettes. In their generations, smoking was a part of the culture. Although the dangers of cigarette smoking were known, smoking was still widely accepted in society. It was not too long ago when we could smoke cigarettes at work, on planes, and even in hospitals! Longtime smokers are predisposed to develop lung cancer and it is now common to screen high-risk patients using CT scans.

Concussion: Young Athletes and Head Trauma

Approximately 3.8 million concussions occur annually in US sports. The media has recently begun paying more attention to the effects of repeated concussions suffered by professional athletes, particularly in the National Football League. These concerns have been highlighted by the lawsuit 2,000 former professional football players filed against the NFL, which claims the League withheld information related to the long-term effects of repeated head trauma.

My Stomach Hurts—Could It Be Gallstones?

My friend’s aunt has been suffering abdominal pain for the past several months. Her doctor was concerned that the pain was caused by gallstones, and she came to my office for a full workup. She had heard of people having gallstones and undergoing surgery, and others who never had a problem with them. She wanted to know how we could tell if she had gallstones and whether they were the cause of her pain.

Dense Breasts: What Does This Mean?

A sad fact is one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. Digital mammogram remains the most effective screening tool we have to detect this disease. Part of the mammogram evaluation by the radiologist is describing the density of a woman’s breast. In February 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed a law requiring radiologists to inform women about their breast density when they have such tests. Many women are finding language in their mammography letters saying they may have dense breast tissue.

Pros and Cons of Radiation

As a radiologist, I often receive questions about radiation. Much of the equipment in my field uses radiation to enter my patients’ bodies and create images. We all know that large levels of radiation can be dangerous, but how dangerous is the radiation one receives from an X-ray or CT scan?

Detecting Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodule which contains tiny calcifications and blood flow was proven to be cancer.

Kathy is a friend of mine who had a dilemma. During a routine physical exam, her doctor discovered a lump on her throat and was concerned that she had a thyroid nodule. Although this might be nothing serious, she was worried that it could be cancer. At the same time, she had no symptoms and felt fine. She could not feel the nodule herself. In fact, she was not even sure what the thyroid gland does. She immediately called me with many questions.

Blood In The Urine

CT urograms provide exquisite detail of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.

Last year one of my friends called me, expressing concern that her family doctor found blood in her urine during a routine examination. She couldn’t see any blood, and in fact she felt fine. This condition, called hematuria, has many benign causes, but my friend was understandably worried because it could also be a symptom of a more serious condition such as cancer.

Carotid Stenosis: A Potential Killer

A friend of my parents’, Linda, came to me with a problem. Lately, she has been dizzy with partial loss of vision in her right eye. When her doctor examined her, he heard an abnormal sound in her neck (called a “bruit”). His concern was she had carotid artery stenosis and was at risk to have a stroke. Her doctor recommended a carotid ultrasound. Upon hearing this, Linda was very worried and wanted to know more.

Why Are You Squeezing My Breasts?

Besides lung cancer, breast cancer causes more deaths among American women than any other form of cancer. A woman's chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 8. Each year about 240,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed (that is one for every 2 and a half minutes). Sadly, 40,000 women die from breast cancer each year (one death every 13 minutes). Screening mammography reduces breast cancer mortality by 25-30% for women ages 50-70 and by 18% for women ages 40-50. Early detection is incredibly important.

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