Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg offers early detection test for heart disease
For more than 50 percent of adults, their first symptom of coronary artery disease is a heart attack.
The National Heart Health Program is trying to change that, and recently certified Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg to administer a test to check for the presence of calcium in coronary arteries before symptoms develop. Read the article.
Letter to the Editor Appearing on Fredericksburg.com
July 8, 2016
Dr. Keith Roach’s syndicated column in The Free Lance–Star on June 28 does not reflect the opinions of all medical professionals.
Heart scan screenings—known as coronary calcium scoring—benefit patients by revealing plaque build-up in the blood vessels of the heart. Plaque is often a warning sign of future heart attacks and strokes. That is why calcium scoring is offered locally at Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg.
Since each screening exam provides critical insight into the condition of one’s heart health, physicians with Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg evaluate and communicate these test results to patients and their physicians.
Calcium scoring tests are CT scans that count the calcium buildup in coronary arteries. Although higher scores indicate that changes in diet, exercise and/or medications are needed to lower risk, lower scores can, in some cases, eliminate the need for medication in patients who previously were believed to be at higher risk.
Because traditional formulas to assess one’s cardiac risk remain imperfect, calcium scoring, which identifies actual heart disease, has improved the accuracy of these formulas.
Calcium scoring recently received a seal of approval from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guideline for use in intermediate risk patients—the largest patient population. Medical advisory groups such as The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) have reviewed the research. They recommend calcium scoring tests for screening men ages 45 to 80 and women ages 55 to 80 who have no known heart disease or in younger patients with two or more risk factors.
I’d like to encourage readers to talk to their physicians about this important screening test.
Dr. Neil B. Green
Second veterans’ clinic will help meet rising needs in Fredericksburg area
By Kristin Davis/ The Free-Lance Star March 13, 2016
The VA has now located a local office in the same building as Lee’s Hill Emergency Department, Medical Imaging Center, Wound Center and Outreach Lab. Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Snyder
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg & Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg
National Award to Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg for Health Education through Digital Marketing
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – APRIL 12, 2017 – The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) has distinguished Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg (MIF) for best national use of digital media to promote their health scan program, featuring the power of early detection through Lung, Heart and Virtual Colonoscopies.
The 2017 Quest Award, is a national award that recognizes the importance of using digital media to inform patients and health care practitioners about medical imaging. MIF was awarded for digital marketing with the theme: “There is power in knowing your weakness. Get a scan. Own your health.”
The award places MIF marketing efforts alongside some of the largest radiology practices in the nation. Among other winners of the annual RBMA Quest Awards were Advance Radiology, Charlotte Radiology, Rad Associations of South Florida and Jefferson Radiology. Judging is based on creativity, effectiveness, innovation, performance and success.
Chris Snyder, Practice Administrator, shares why this digital marketing is so important. “The campaign was developed because many community members were not aware of the new screening technologies that are making identification of lung cancer, coronary heart disease and colon cancer possible much earlier. We implemented these screenings after multiple national studies demonstrated their effectiveness in early detection.”
Health Scan™ screenings are cost effective and don’t require needles or long procedures. The Lung Scan identifies issues much earlier than the traditional chest x-ray approach. Heart Scans are medically proven to be a clinical marker for coronary artery disease and a powerful predictor of heart attacks, sudden death, and other manifestations of heart disease. Virtual Colonoscopies offer less discomfort than traditional colonoscopies.
In addition to the screenings that most people know about for breast cancer, the availability of screenings for the heart, lungs, colon, and bone density or DEXA can help identify disease early so that treatment is more effective. In most cases, issues caught early have much better long term outcomes.
Health Scan™ is the screenings program for Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg. This program now offers four preventative screenings for colorectal cancers, heart disease, lung cancer, and bone density. Health Scan™ uses advanced technology to identify risks early, allowing you to take action early.
With a focus on quality imaging, patient safety, and lowest regional costs, MIF has locations in Stafford, Lee’s Hill and Fredericksburg.
You can get more information or make an appointment by going to mifimaging.com or calling (540) 741-XRAY (9729).
The following was released on March 7, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3d Mammography Locations Now Include Fredericksburg, VA
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – March 7, 2016 –In the battle to beat breast cancer, screening plays a key role, and major improvements have now made three-dimensional or 3D mammography possible. By adding sophisticated software and a moving arm to the mammogram, radiologists are now able to receive a more detailed image with significantly greater clarity. This advancement is important for many reasons, including a reduction in call-backs and biopsies and greater peace of mind for women. Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, Virginia can now be added to the resource list of 3D mammography locations in the mid-Atlantic.
For women in the I-95 corridor, the Imaging Center for Women, located in Fredericksburg, VA now offers two 3D mammography stations due to demand and the quality that radiologists are receiving from the new equipment. This center is designed to make the women’s experience peaceful and private, and even women from communities outside the local region choose the center for these reasons. The MIF 3D mammography equipment is the first and only of its kind available to women in Fredericksburg, Stafford, King George, Spotsylvania and provides key benefits which include:
- Better Cancer Detection
- The 3D mammogram allows for a much clearer image
- Fewer call backs
- Fewer biopsies
- More effective with all types of breast tissue
- More effective for creating a baseline screening
- Better imaging for women with dense breast tissue or a history of breast cancer
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg is pleased to offer multiple 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) stations to serve our patients with breast cancer screening. This approach, called breast tomosynthesis, because of the advanced software that makes it possible, produces a three-dimensional view of the breast that assists radiologists as they work to identify and characterize the specific breast structures without the confusion that can be caused by overlapping tissue.
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, with locations in Stafford, Lees Hill and Fredericksburg,VA has installed two 3d mammogram stations in the regional Imaging Center for Women located in Fredericksburg. This new state of the art equipment is the latest step that Medical Imaging has taken to ensure that women in the region have access to the best available life-saving equipment. With limited number of 3D mammography locations available in the state, the Fredericksburg, VA addition, is an important one for women’s health.
Breast cancer screening using 3D mammogram, when used with a conventional 2D mammogram, has a 35% higher invasive cancer detection rate than using 2D mammography alone. 3D mammograms give radiologists greater confidence with a large reduction in recall rates.
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, in cooperation with the board certified and breast fellowship trained physicians at Radiology Associates of Fredericksburg, strongly urge women to begin annual screening at age 40, or sooner if high risk elements are present. The use of 3D mammography adds peace of mind and creates an important and highly detailed baseline for future screenings.
The following information was released on PR NewsWire on February 18th, 2016.
Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg Announces Key Executive Promotions
FREDERICKSBURG, Va., Feb. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg (RAF) has promoted Chris Snyder to the position of practice administrator for Virginia Medical Imaging and Virginia Interventional & Vascular Associates (VIVA), RAF CEO Ed Swager announced today. The practice administrator provides executive leadership for four outpatient imaging centers that are a partnership of RAF and Mary Washington Healthcare – Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, the Imaging Center for Women, Medical Imaging at Lee’s Hill, and Medical Imaging of North Stafford – as well as VIVA’s outpatient interventional radiology and vascular surgery facility.
Aatif Rahman has been named director of technical services for Virginia Medical Imaging’s four centers, filling the post that Snyder held from April 2014 until his recent promotion.
As practice administrator, Snyder supports the four imaging centers and interventional radiology facility in delivering cost-effective, high-quality services to the community. Before moving to the region in 2014, Snyder was director of clinical services for a health care system in Florida. A certified radiology administrator, he holds a master’s degree in health administration and has been in health care leadership for more than 20 years.
As director of technical services, Rahman oversees the management of the four imaging centers. He previously managed medical imaging facilities for a health system in Arizona, and before that was director of four outpatient imaging centers in the Chicago area, his hometown. Rahman holds a bachelor’s degree in health service management and has been in the health care field for 30 years.
The following information was released by the American College of Radiology on January 11th. MIF continues to emphasize the importance of screening mammograms that begin at age 40.
USPSTF Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations Could Endanger Women
WOMEN SHOULD CONTINUE TO BEGIN ANNUAL MAMMOGRAPHY SCREENING AT AGE 40
January 11, 2016
Washington, DC – If followed, new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) breast cancer screening recommendations will result in thousands of unnecessary deaths each year and thousands more women enduring extensive and expensive treatment than if their cancer had been found early by an annual mammogram. To ensure access to mammography, Congress delayed for two years any changes to insurance coverage based on these recommendations, while breast cancer experts vet the recommendations and the process by which they were created. Women ages 40-and-older, and their families, should continue to impress upon lawmakers and their health care providers that they want fully insured access to annual mammograms.
As our shared goal is to save the most lives possible from breast cancer, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) continue to recommend that women get yearly mammograms starting at age 40. New American Cancer Society (ACS) breast cancer screening guidelines, and previous data used by the USPSTF to create its recommendations, state that annual screening in women 40-and-older saves thousands more lives each year than screening at a later age and/or less frequent screening.
“Following these USPSTF recommendations would result in lethal consequences for thousands of women each year. A recent study in the British Medical Journal confirms that early detection of breast cancer via mammography is critical for improving breast cancer survival, regardless of therapy advances. Moving away from yearly screening in women 40-and-older endangers women, would cause needless death and disfigurement of women, and would simply not be good breast cancer screening policy,” said Debra Monticciolo, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission.
Currently, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires private insurers to cover exams or procedures given a grade of “A” or “B” by the USPSTF with no copay. Medicare determines coverage separately. The Task Force gave routine screening of women ages 40-49 a grade of “C” and gave a “B” grade only to biennial screening for women 50-74. Therefore, women 40-49 who want to get a mammogram and those 50-74 who prefer annual screening may not be guaranteed coverage under the ACA if these USPSTF recommendations were recognized as policy. However, with the inclusion of primary language from the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act (PALS Act) in the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act, mandatory mammography insurance coverage for millions of women nationwide will continue for at least two more years.
“This congressionally mandated delay will help providers continue to save tens of thousands of lives each year while the USPSTF recommendations and their creation process are vetted by breast cancer screening experts and lawmakers. Women and Congress need to remain vigilant so that coverage decisions based on these recommendations are not simply put into place by insurers when that is not the intent of the Task Force recommendation,” said William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, FACR, chief executive officer of the American College of Radiology.
“Women should have the opportunity to make informed screening choices and have insurance coverage for those decisions. The USPSTF’s recommendations may still jeopardize women’s access to these lifesaving exams. We are grateful for Congress’s foresight to include legislative language from the PALS Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Clearly, they agree that women ages 40-49, 50-74, and 75-and-older who want annual mammograms, should be covered for, and have access to, these lifesaving exams. Women and their families should continue to make sure that their lawmakers safeguard that access,” said Elizabeth Morris, MD, FACR, president, Society of Breast Imaging.
The Task Force process resulting in these recommendations does not comply with Institute of Medicine (IOM) guideline development recommendations – widely regarded as the medical standard. The Task Force did not include breast cancer imaging or treatment experts on its panel. By IOM standards, these USPSTF guidelines, which appear to be the result of a limited review of only selected studies that underestimate the lifesaving benefit of mammography screening, may not be considered “trustworthy.”
The largest (Hellquist et al) and longest running (Tabár et al) breast cancer screening studies in history reconfirm that regular screening cut breast cancer deaths by roughly a third in all women ages 40-and-over — including those 40-49 – and disprove the lower USPSTF estimates. According to the National Cancer Institute, since mammography screening became widespread in the mid-1980s, the U.S. breast cancer death rate, unchanged for the previous 50 years, has dropped 36 percent.
The Task Force cites “overdiagnosis” as a basis for its recommendations, but the ACS confirms that overdiagnosis claims are vastly inflated due to key methodological flaws in many studies. “Overdiagnosis” is likely only one to ten percent and is largely due to inclusion of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Few, if any, invasive cancers are over-diagnosed. Physicians cannot predict which screening findings may lead to “overdiagnosis” because medical science cannot determine which cancers will advance. Most understandably recommend treatment.
The USPSTF also uses short-term anxiety resulting from mammography results to justify its recommendations. However, these feelings, while normal, rapidly go away with no lasting effects to women’s health. Past research indicates that nearly all those who experienced a false-positive support screening. Short-term anxiety from test results and the comparatively small number of mammography false positives do not outweigh the thousands of lives saved each year by mammography.
Mammograms can detect cancer early when it’s most treatable and can be treated less invasively — which not only saves lives, but helps preserve quality of life. For more information regarding the proven effectiveness of regular mammography screening, please visit www.MammographySavesLives.org and Endtheconfusion.org.
About the American College of Radiology
The American College of Radiology (ACR), founded in 1924, is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care.
About the Society of Breast Imaging
The Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), established in 1985, is a professional medical organization dedicated to improving the practice of breast imaging and the quality of medical education in breast imaging. The SBI also provides a medium for the exchange of ideas among those involved in breast imaging. The SBI includes leading international breast imaging specialists nationwide among its membership.