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HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN X-RAYS AND SCANS…

How to tell the difference between x-rays and scans it difficult to know what each one does.

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the inside of the body. These are more detailed than those obtained with other forms of imaging, and can be very useful for diagnosing problems with

  • brain and spinal cord
  • bones and joints
  • breasts
  • heart and blood vessels
  • internal organs, such as the liver, womb or prostate gland 

The results of an MRI scan can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments and assess how effective previous treatment has been.

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X-Rays use radiation to create an image on a screen. The radiation passes through thin tissues and fluid, so they show up as a dark area, while bones and other dense tissues block the rays, so these show up as light areas. X-rays can be used to diagnose –

An Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves, which can pass through fluid and less dense tissue, and the echo of these is used to create an image. Ultrasound can be used to diagnose problems affecting soft tissues, such as the pelvic organs, the heart, tendons and muscles, and of course keeping an eye on baby.

A CT (computed tomography) uses a combination of series of x-rays taken at different angles and a computer to create a series of 3D images. These are much more detailed than a standard X-ray, and can be used for –

  • diagnose conditions – including damage to bones, injuries to internal organs, problems with blood flow, stroke, and cancer
  • guide further tests or treatments – for example, CT scans can help determine the location, size and shape of a tumour before having radiotherapy, or allow a doctor to take a needle biopsy (where a small tissue sample is removed using a needle) or drain an abscess
  • monitor conditions – including checking the size of tumours during and after cancer treatment

Source: NHS, Woman & Home

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BPB ALERT NEWS – RAYNAUD’S AWARENESS MONTH 1-29th FEBRUARY…

February is Raynaud’s Awareness Month – help others to get to know about Raynaud’s condition by posting on media sites with #KnowRaynauds.

Raynaud’s disease (Ray-nodes) means that the small blood vessels in the extremities such as the hands, feet, fingers or toes are over-sensitive to even the slightest changes in temperature, cold conditions and sometimes emotional stress.

When our bodies are exposed to the cold, a normal response is for the blood vessels to become narrower. When someone has Raynaud’s this reaction may be much more extreme. It will sometimes cause a noticeable colour change to the affected areas, with the skin turning white, then blue and finally to red as the circulation returns. This is known as a Raynaud’s attack.

A Raynaud’s attack can be very uncomfortable, and sometimes quite painful. It can also make everyday tasks, like buttoning a jacket or unzipping a purse, very difficult. Raynaud’s symptoms generally affect the fingers and toes, but all extremities can be involved, including the hands, feet, ears, nose, lips, tongue and nipples. Raynaud’s is a common condition thought to affect up to ten million people in the UK.

There are two different types of Raynaud’s: primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud’s is usually less serious as the condition tends to be fairly manageable. People living with secondary Raynaud’s will often experience more severe symptoms.

People with primary Raynaud’s usually have no other related complications, and will rarely go on to develop an additional problem.

If you have primary Raynaud’s, it is important to see your GP if you are worried about the symptoms or any other health issues.

Secondary Raynaud’s needs more investigation and more careful monitoring for complications like ulceration or sores.

If you notice a change in your symptoms or you have any other health concerns, it is important to tell your doctor, who may carry out some tests to rule out other conditions.

To find out much more about the condition and how to get help head over to Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK). It is the only UK Charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with scleroderma and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Their aim is to reach out to every single person who has a Scleroderma or Raynaud’s diagnosis and provide them with the information and support they need.

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INTERNATIONAL PAGET’S AWARENESS DAY – 11th JANUARY 2021…

Paget’s disease affects the normal repair and renewal process of bone. Throughout life, bone is renewed and repaired through a process called bone remodelling. Paget’s disease is characterised by abnormalities in this process. The affected bone is renewed and repaired at an increased rate, adversely affecting the bone’s structure. Bone affected by Paget’s disease may be enlarged and misshapen. 

Paget’s disease can occur in any bone, often causes no symptoms and may be found by chance. For those with symptoms, these may include pain, deformity and fracture. Either single or multiple bones may be affected with common sites being the spine, skull, pelvis and thigh (femur).

The risk of developing Paget’s disease increases with age and it is most commonly diagnosed in those over 50 years. Paget’s disease is the second most common metabolic bone disease after osteoporosis. Approximately 1% of people in the UK, over the age of 55 years, are thought to be affected. The condition is also common in other European countries such as France, Spain and Italy and in people of European descent who have emigrated to other regions of the world, such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada. 

Environmental factors also play a role in Paget’s disease, as evidenced by the fact, that over the last few decades, the frequency and severity of the disease have declined in many countries, and is most marked in regions that previously had a high prevalence, such as the UK. Various environmental triggers have been suggested, including dietary calcium or vitamin D deficiency, exposure to environmental toxins, repetitive mechanical stress on the bone, skeletal trauma and slow viral infections. Despite this, researchers have yet to discover which environmental factors influence the development of Paget’s disease.

Many people who have Paget’s disease do not have symptoms and never develop complications. In many cases, individuals are unaware that they have the condition. It may be discovered by chance on x-ray or if a blood test is performed for another reason.

Of those who present with symptoms, pain is the most common. Pain may arise from the affected bone itself, or from the altered biomechanics of limb deformity; for example, a bowed leg alters the way you walk and puts stress on the joints and soft tissues.

For more information see their Fact’s Booklet and Magazines which are all available in the Members’ Area of this website. Details regarding membership and its benefits can be found by following this link.

International Paget’s Awareness Day 2021 will be focusing on the important topic of treatment, its history and the research changing how Paget’s disease may be managed in the future.  

They have filmed a series of videos, based around the topic of treatment, which is available to watch on their website and YouTube channel, to coincide with Paget’s Awareness Day. These include interviews with leading experts, including our Chairman, Professor Stuart Ralston, and Honorary President, Professor Graham Russell. They focus on different areas of treatment, including the importance of the discovery of bisphosphonates for Paget’s disease, and the significance of current and future research into the condition.

Professor Stuart Ralston, introduces the series.  All full-length episodes will be available to watch on 11th January, click here to watch previews of each episode and to find out more.

Source : Paget’s Association