As your body ages, it's important to get to a medical professional on a regular basis to get yourself inspected for signs of trouble. While the first stop should usually be to your personal doctor, you may end up getting referred for an appointment at your local imaging center. These centers are staffed by radiologists who can help you detect problems with your body with their imaging machines.
While services can vary across different imaging centers, here are 3 common tasks that your local radiologist can most likely perform for you on a regular basis:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, often called an MRI for short, is a test that can help a doctor diagnose conditions in the body that might not be able to be seen using other methods. An MRI machine tends to use pulses of radio waves to create an image of what's going on inside your body.
Common places to get an MRI performed include your brain, abdomen, kidneys, breasts or ovaries. While your first MRI might come if a doctor suspects something is wrong, it's also possible to get one done on a regular basis as a preventative measure.
For example, if you are at high risk of cancer or another disease, a regular MRI can help the doctors look for early warning signs in a specific part of your body.
One of the most common types of cancer that an imaging center can help detect signs of early is breast cancer. This is done by getting a digital mammography performed. The imaging center will use low-dose x-rays that will help create a detailed picture of breast tissue. A digital mammography can help detect signs of cancer even if there is no visible lump in the breast tissue.
An ultrasound is less time consuming than an MRI and can be used to pinpoint specific body organs and detect problems with them. This is done by passing sound waves through the body. The sound will bounce off of the target organ and reflect back. If the sound wave comes back looking strange, it could be a sign of a larger problem. If you have a history of heart problems, an ultrasound is a quick and non invasive way for your doctors to continue to monitor your heart and blood vessels so that they can fix you before a problem occurs.
A regular visit to your local imaging center can help detect problems with your body so that they can be treated before they develop into a larger issue. If you have a concern, go to your doctor first. He or she will be able to recommend if an MRI, an ultrasound or another imaging center service is right for you.