Shields Health Care Group Blog

Screening for breast cancer in high-risk patients - MRI or mammogram?

Posted by Lisa Campisi

Emmy-award-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and announced it using a startling statistic: “One in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one.”

Read More

Tags: breast cancer, mammogram, breast MRI, Breast screening,

5 things a guy should know about prostate cancer

Posted by Lisa Campisi

  1. Its more common than breast cancer.
    For men at average risk, about one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.  According to the National Cancer Institute, it’s the second most common cancer for men, representing 7 percent of cancer diagnoses each year, and 4.4 percent of cancer deaths.
  2. Early detection greatly increases survival rates.
    Most prostate cancers grow slowly and if the cancer is caught at its earliest stages, the disease is extremely treatable.
  3. Some men have no symptoms
    Early detection of prostate cancer is important, but it can be difficult because oftentimes men don’t experience any symptoms in the early stages. Assessing risk factors such as age, family history and race as well as discussing prostate cancer screening with your doctor will help you to identify your risk of developing prostate cancer. 
  4. Current screening tools tell only part of the story.
    Screening often begins with a blood test to measure the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA). If elevated, it might indicate cancer and doctors are tasked with discovering more. After an elevated PSA, the next step is a needle biopsy, where a doctor takes multiple samples from the prostate and has them tested for cancer.  While the PSA test is a relatively simple and inexpensive blood test, the biopsy is very invasive, done by inserting a thin needle through the rectum, and costs an average of $2,000. The PSA test combined with the random biopsy may miss a potential cancer or indicate the need for more testing. Often, the result is that the patient needs to be continuously monitored since the tests are not able to identify if a cancer is present or if it is aggressive.
  5. MRI has been called the “mammogram” for prostate cancer.
    Many specialists are turning to advanced imaging as a way to reduce unnecessary prostate biopsies following an elevated PSA. Multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) can reveal the size and density of a prostate cancer, and how well-connected it is to the blood supply. While this newer test is not as common as biopsies, when combined with ultrasound, the hope is that it will be more precise and reduce the number of invasive biopsies needed. The benefits of mpMRI from a patient comfort standpoint are also positive – it is a non-invasive test that is extremely precise with no radiation or side effects.
Read More

Tags: prostate screening, prostate cancer awareness, prostate MRI, shields prostate mri

How much will I pay for an MRI in Massachusetts?

Posted by Lisa Campisi

On a high-deductible health plan this year? You are not alone! More and more employers are implementing these plans that put more of the responsibility to pay out-of-pocket for certain health care procedures onto the patient. As a health care provider, Shields is seeing a rise in inquiries around price for an MRI scan, which have a reputation for being a high-cost imaging procedure. 

Read More

Tags: mri price, MRI Costs, MRI savings

7 things you should know about an MRI (like there are certain people who shouldn't get them!)

Posted by Lisa Campisi

An average of one in ten people need an MRI each year and if you are one of them, chances are that you’re a tad nervous. Hopefully knowing these 7 things about MRIs beforehand will help you have an easier and pleasant experience.

Read More

Tags: MRI, claustrophobia, radiation, MRI Costs, MRI danger

Is it 40 or 50? Clearing up the Confusion about Mammography Age Recommendations.

Posted by Lisa Campisi

Early detection remains the best way to improve survival rates of breast cancer. Millions of women know the importance of and participate in regularly scheduled screening mammograms, but there has been varied recommendations in the news around the age guidelines for screening mammograms. Below is some important information about screening guidelines about why you should have your first annual screening mammogram starting at age 40.

Read More

Tags: mammography, mammogram, breast MRI, lowell general hospital

Spring runners: Beware increased mileage. MRI and Patellar Tendonitis.

Posted by Mary Scanlan

With the start of spring, there one thing New Englanders always look forward to: warmer weather. And if you’re a runner, that means the end of treadmill season!  As the Boston Marathon approaches, many runners will be pushing themselves to hit the pavement and squeeze in those extra training miles. This may seem like a good idea, but you could be setting yourself up for one of the most common runner’s injuries: patellar tendonitis, or “jumper’s knee”.

Read More

Tags: Boston Marathon, runner's injury, Dr. Ketan Patel, runner injury, knee MRI, jumper's knee, dr. Katz

3 Reasons to schedule your MRI now at Shields MRI

Posted by Lisa Campisi

Many annual deductibles, flexible spending, health savings and overall insurance benefits renew at the end of December. If your doctor has recommended an MRI, don’t wait to schedule the appointment.

Read More

Tags: MRI, MR, FSA, MRI Costs

Did you know a Pap Test does NOT detect ovarian cancer? Know the symptoms & signs for detection.

Posted by Lisa Campisi

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells are found inside or near the ovaries. Early detection for ovarian cancer is very important, in fact, when ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages (stage I or II), the five-year survival rate is over 90 percent, this is compared to a survival rate as low as 28 percent if caught in stage III or higher.

Read More

Tags: ovarian cancer;, ovaries MRI, ovarian cysts, pelvic MRI, ovarian mri

Self-refer and self-pay for a breast MRI scan? Yes, you can... and right on Cape Cod.

Posted by Lisa Campisi

The wave of the future in breast cancer screening is now available only on Cape Cod.

Read More

Tags: breast cancer, mammography, mammogram, breast MRI, Breast screening,

Five questions you should ask BEFORE your MRI.

Posted by John Geiger

When you doctor tells you that you’ll need an MRI scan, you’ll likely have a few questions on your mind. However, are they the right ones? Shields MRI, the largest MRI network in New England, shares the five questions you SHOULD be asking when your doctor recommends an MRI. 

Read More

Tags: mri, 1.5T MRI, 3T MRI, MRI technology, open MRI