Mammography:

Mammography remains the golden standard for the timeous diagnosis of breast cancer. Despite advances in research, breast cancer still remains a major threat to woman's health and is only second to bronchus carcinoma, as cause of death due to cancer, in the female population in general. Mammography is both a diagnostic and screening tool. As diagnostic tool, it is an excellent modality, in order to make a diagnosis in symptomatic patients. It is internationally used as a screening method in an effort to make a timeous diagnosis of breast cancer in asymptomatic patients, and may cause a 40-45% improvement in prognosis overall.

A dedicated modality used in the diagnosis of breast cancer. It comprises 2 images of each breast and high-resolution digital images are generated. During the procedure, the breasts are gently compressed, on order to produce an even image. It is used during workup for patients with symptoms relating to the breasts, but also in screening programmes in asymptomatic patients. It is advised that all patients should have an annual mammogram from age 40 years, and 35 years in case of a strong family history of breast cancer (first order, i.e. mother, sister or daughter)

Ultrasound evaluation of the breasts is a well-known supplementary modality to mammography, but plays a primary role in younger patients, especially those under the age of 35 years. 

Bone densitometry:

Bone densitometry measurements are an essential part of prophylactic evaluation against osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is an important disease, which often causes severe complications, especially pathological fractures in the elderly, at a time when the patient can least afford it, health wise. Osteoporosis is a slowly progressive disease, which is difficult to treat. Regular bone densitometry is therefore advisable, in order to effect treatment in time.

A dedicated modality, in order to determine the patient’s bone mass density, for making a timely diagnosis of osteoporosis. Especially postmenopausal patients, and particularly those not on hormonal replacement therapy, are liable to develop osteoporosis. It comprises an X-ray evaluation of bone mass density in the lumbar spine and hip joints. A pencil-beam, low level radiation, x-ray beam is used in this procedure.

Ultrasound:

Ultrasound is a radiologic modality that allows imaging of soft tissue in the body. This is done by sending ultrasonic sound waves into the body by means of a transducer, which then also listens for returning echoes at different strengths and timing to create imaging in realtime. 

The most commonly known use for ultrasound is to monitor pregnancies which is an exciting time for parents to see their babies and their heartbeats and movements. Ultrasound is useful in viewing the abdominal and pelvic organs, heart, blood vessels and more recently and increasingly the muskuloskeletal system (muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments).

Ultrasound is very useful in the medical field as it allows visualization of a lot more of the body and as it is realtime imaging, allows for more dynamic imaging. It does have it'slimitations in that it is operator dependent and cannot visualize parts filled with air.

Currently ultrasound is considered a safe to use modality by qualified operators.

Ultrasound is also often used as a complementary modality to mammography and for the workup of lumps, or other lesions earlier detected on mammography.

Please note that we are contracted in (therefore, charging medical aid tariff rates).

General x-rays:

Two dimensional images of predominantly bony structures are retrieved with general x-rays, and it is used to evaluate the integrity of bony fractures to rule out for eg. fractures. It is also largely used to visualize the lungs, and certain soft tissue aspects. As it makes use of radiation, it may be harmful if used incorrectly and therefore no unauthorized x-rays can be taken. Ranging from chest and abdomen x-rays to extremities and spine, x-rays is usually the first line of imaging.

CT scans:

CT scans are specialized imaging techniques where a series of rotating x-ray machines are built into a donut shaped tube. These xray units are designed to take multiple images at high speeds moving around the body, and digitally utilizing the data obtained to create 3D images in different planes. This specialized modality can visualize parts of the body more accurately and with more detail. An iodine based dye is often used to increase visualization of various structures even more.