What to Watch: A Guide to Abnormal Findings on a Chest Scan

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 2.58.11 AM

by Dr. Javier Dieguez, MD

Women get mammograms to prevent colon cancer. Men and women get colonoscopies to prevent colon cancer. Why, then, is it that lung and chest scans aren’t common practice?

Early detection of cancer in a patient between the ages of 55 and 74 increases chances of curing malignant findings, especially if the patient has a history of smoking.

Getting a film is the key to broadening treatment options. Early detection opens up more opportunities to control cancer, but pulmonologists aren’t the only doctors administering these tests. Primary Care Physicians are now suggesting them as preventative screenings too.

Suggestions

  • Check-in regularly with your doctor
  • Don’t let symptoms go unchecked
  • Be tested with image scanning and look over them closely with your doctor

Once you have results and a nodule is found, we will either become your team or recommend that you find a pulmonologist to work with you.

What to do with a finding

A nodule is a finding that is under 3cm. A lung mass is a finding that is over 3cm. A nodule is easier to treat and has a better prognosis than a lung mass. Finding problem areas as nodules allows your team to keep an eye on it and find out if it is benign or malignant.

Many people’s results will reveal nodules. The only way to know if a nodule is a cause for concern is to watch it for growth over time. If a nodule is normal for 2 years, it is considered benign. If the nodule shows sign of growth, additional diagnostic procedures will be required.

The Fleischner Pulmonary Nodule Guidelines are usually for follow-up and management of pulmonary nodules. They help you to follow nodules with specified information that is dependent on medical and exposure history.

When considering new findings, it is always important to compare the most recent film to a prior film to see what is new and what was preexisting. A benign nodule that was caused by outside exposure is known as a granuloma. Granulomas appear very calcified on CT results. This means they appear much more white than other types of findings. Granulomas are formed by the body encasing outside particles that have been inhaled.

Circular nodules have the best chance of being benign. Spiculated nodules will be watched closely, no matter of size.

Some cancers are hereditary. But family history of cancer doesn’t automatically mean that irregular findings will be cancerous.

In early stage cancer, surgery can be a solution in place of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment. This is one reason why finding abnormalities early is crucial to fighting cancer.

Learn more from ADC. Contact us with any questions.

Hear more from Dr. Javier Dieguez, MD:

Advertisements

Sleep and Depression

Information provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Sleep Medicine - Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A.

Sleep Medicine – Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A.

Do you think depression may be causing you to have trouble sleeping at night?

Do you have trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much during the day? These problems may be caused by external factors (i.e. noise or light) or temporary stresses (i.e. new baby or starting a new job), it is important to understand that these troubles may also be connected to your mood. in some cases, these sleep problems may be related to a condition called depression.

Depression is one cause of sleep troubles, but there are many others.

Related: Sleep isn’t just “time out” from daily life

What is depression?

Depression is being recognized more and more as a condition that involves how we feel about ourselves and how we respond to events in our lives. Depression also affects our bodies. Trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep are important features of depression. Other symptoms may include:

  • Down or low moods, feeling sad most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest or inability to experience pleasure in things that generally had been pleasurable before
  • Abrupt changes in weight, either significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts that life isn’t worth living, even to the point of actively considering ending one’s life
  • Anger outbursts, irritability, nervousness

If I don’t sleep well, does that mean I’m depressed?

Not necessarily. Depression is one case of sleep troubles, but there are many others. For example, sone people stop breathing over and over again during sleep, a condition referred to as Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS). This problem can wake them often while sleeping, leading to daytime sleepiness. Lastly, it’s important to know that trouble sleeping for any reason can lead to feelings of depression. Age has an effect on how depression affects your sleep. For example, a younger adult with depression often has trouble falling asleep. People over 40 more often have trouble remaining asleep. Both can be caused by depression.

What happens when I am referred to the Sleep Center?

In many cases, the sleep disorders specialist will interview you. This provides a complete history of your sleep and related problems. You may also be asked to cpmlete a short (two-week) sleep diary of your sleep habits and difficulties. in addition, some specialists ask you to fill out a questionnaire. Taken together, this information can lead to a sleep or depression diagnosis.

Video Tour of the ADC Sleep Center

Contact Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic today to find out if a sleep study is right for you. No referral is necessary. 
6700 W. Ninth, Amarillo, Texas, 79106
(806) 356-5522 
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Why We Should Rethink How We Sleep

Excerpts from Rethinking Sleep -By DAVID K. RANDALL Published: September 22, 2012 New York Times

SOMETIME in the dark stretch of the night it happens. Perhaps it’s the chime of an incoming text message. Or your iPhone screen lights up to alert you to a new e-mail. Or you find yourself staring at the ceiling, replaying the day in your head. Next thing you know, you’re out of bed and engaged with the world, once again ignoring the often quoted fact that eight straight hours of sleep is essential.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Roughly 41 million people in the United States — nearly a third of all working adults — get six hours or fewer of sleep a night, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • About 42 percent of workers in the mining industry are sleep-deprived.
  • About 27 percent of financial or insurance industry workers share the same complaint.
  • The idea that we should sleep in eight-hour chunks is relatively recent. (The world’s population sleeps in various and surprising ways. Millions of Chinese workers continue to put their heads on their desks for a nap of an hour or so after lunch, for example, and daytime napping is common from India to Spain.)

HISTORICAL SLEEP STYLES

One of the first signs that the emphasis on a straight eight-hour sleep had outlived its usefulness arose in the early 1990s, thanks to a history professor at Virginia Tech named A. Roger Ekirch, who spent hours investigating the history of the night and began to notice strange references to sleep. A character in the “Canterbury Tales,” for instance, decides to go back to bed after her “firste sleep.” A doctor in England wrote that the time between the “first sleep” and the “second sleep” was the best time for study and reflection. And one 16th-century French physician concluded that laborers were able to conceive more children because they waited until after their “first sleep” to make love. Professor Ekirch soon learned that he wasn’t the only one who was on to the historical existence of alternate sleep cycles. In a fluke of history, Thomas A. Wehr, a psychiatrist then working at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., was conducting an experiment in which subjects were deprived of artificial light. Without the illumination and distraction from light bulbs, televisions or computers, the subjects slept through the night, at least at first. But, after a while, Dr. Wehr noticed that subjects began to wake up a little after midnight, lie awake for a couple of hours, and then drift back to sleep again, in the same pattern of segmented sleep that Professor Ekirch saw referenced in historical records and early works of literature. READ MORE:

“Attention Problems May Be Sleep-Related” – NY Times

Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic

Amarillo, TX

-Article from the New York Times | Health & Science

Attention Problems May Be Sleep-Related

Diagnoses of attention hyperactivity disorder among children have increased dramatically in recent years, rising 22 percent from 2003 to 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But many experts believe that this may not be the epidemic it appears to be.

Many children are given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D., researchers say, when in fact they have another problem: a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. The confusion may account for a significant number of A.D.H.D. cases in children, and the drugs used to treat them may only be exacerbating the problem.

“No one is saying A.D.H.D. does not exist, but there’s a strong feeling now that we need to rule out sleep issues first,” said Dr. Merrill Wise, a pediatric neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center in Memphis.

The symptoms of sleep deprivation in children resemble those of A.D.H.D. While adults experience sleep deprivation as drowsiness and sluggishness, sleepless children often become wired, moody and obstinate; they may have trouble focusing, sitting still and getting along with peers.

Click here to read more.

– — –

For more information about sleep deprivation, or about becoming a patient at ADC, visit our website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube Channel.