Virtual Imaging: Early Detection Saves Lives. Imagery of two elderly couples jogging outside and smiling.

Importance of Yearly Check-Ups

Yearly checkups can help your doctor detect and treat minor problems before they become major illnesses. Many health problems are easier to treat in their early stages, so yearly checkups can help you find problems when your chances for treatment and cure are better.

The health services, screenings, and treatments you receive during your annual exam can improve your chances for a longer, healthier life.

Your doctor may recommend various diagnostic tests, based on your age, gender, personal health history, family health history, and other specific risk factors. Yearly screenings can help your doctor detect some of the most common causes of illnesses and death in the United States, including cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and colon cancer. Imaging helps doctors detect these conditions in their earliest stages when treatment is usually most effective.

Imaging as Part of Your Yearly Check-up

Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and is a major cause of disability in the nation. The most common cause of cardiovascular disease is the accumulation of plaque that narrows or blocks the coronary arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Doctors refer to this as coronary artery disease; it is the major reason people have heart attacks. Plaque can accumulate slowly in the coronary arteries, so many patients do not realize they have a problem.

Many times, people with heart disease do not experience symptoms until the condition has progressed to a late stage, which can make diagnosis difficult. Scanning helps doctors detect plaque in the coronary arteries.

The Electron Beam Computed Tomography (EBCT) heart scan is one of the best predictor of a cardiovascular event. EBCT is a non-invasive, high-speed computed tomography (CT) scan that can detect plaque in the coronary arteries before symptoms develop. EBCT can also detect signs of lung cancer, colon cancers, and other cancers or abnormalities.

Lung disease is another serious health problem in the U.S. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the country. EBCT scanning can detect tumors as small as 5 millimeters in size, which is about 0.19 inches.

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the nation. These cancers usually start as polyps in the large intestine; imaging can detect these polyps. Colorectal cancer does not typically cause symptoms, so yearly checkups can help.

For more information on the importance of yearly checkups, make an appointment with your doctor. Make an appointment today with Virtual Imaging, Inc. Imaging Center at 770-730-0119.