Posts Tagged ‘American College of Radiology’

Early Screenings for Early Lung Cancer Detection

Early Screenings for Early Lung Cancer DetectionGenerally, chest x-rays are used to diagnose patients who already show signs of lung cancer. Many times, the disease has already reached an advanced stage by the time it is discovered. However, patients at high risk for lung cancer can now get early detection screenings which will help discover any signs of lung cancer before symptoms develop.

Who Is High Risk?

There are a few factors that come into play when deciding who is a candidate for lung screenings. In order to be considered, the patient must meet the following requirements:

  • Current or former smoker
  • AND in the age group from 55 to 74 years
  • AND with a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (this means one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.)

Other factors may come into play, and the risk of lung cancer is different for every person, so be sure to discuss early screenings with your doctor.

The Process

The screening process is fast–just a few seconds is all it takes. In order to acquire the most accurate image, patients are asked to hold their breath while the x-ray is taken. Following the x-ray, the patient will meet with a specialist to review the screening. If the result is negative, it is recommended to go in for another screening once a year for the next two years. Also, it is highly recommended to quit smoking during that time (or before, for that matter). If the result of the screening is positive, additional tests or follow-ups will be required to determine if it is lung cancer or another problem altogether.

Screening is not a substitute for quitting smoking. The most effective way anyone can reduce their risk of lung cancer is to avoid tobacco. Riverside offers Smokeless®, a program to help people quit smoking on the Peninsula. For information and help to quit smoking, call Holly Hicks at (757) 875-7533.


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Dr. Timothy Farrell featured in ACR Bulletin

radiologist vaOur very own Dr. Timothy Farrell was featured in the latest ACR Bulletin. The ACR Bulletin is published 12 times a year, and this award-winning magazine keeps members up-to-date on current research, advocacy efforts, the latest technology, and ACR products and services. It provides a forum for members to share lessons learned, news and events, and achievements.

In his article, Dr. Farrell discussed what advances in radiology he finds most exciting.

Dr. Farrell applauds the progress teleradiology has experienced in the past decades. Thirty years ago, the process was crude and it took painfully long time to transmit data. Thanks to today’s digital technology, high quality medical images are transferred almost instantly.

These advances have allowed radiologists to become more efficient and provide more specialized care to patients. Dr. Farrell stresses that radiologists must continue to be diligent in providing high-value medical care.

Dr. Farrell believes the many undeserved areas in the United Sates and around the world provide radiologists with a great opportunity. “When I image the possibility of providing high-quality imaging services to millions of people who do not currently have access to it, I consider that to be most exciting professional prospect available to radiology,” states Dr. Farrell.

To read the rest of Dr. Farrell’s article, please click here.

International Day of Radiology

IDOR logo

November 8 marks the anniversary of the day that Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen discovered X-rays in 1895. It has always been a big day in radiology, and this year the first annual International Day of Radiology (IDoR) will be celebrated.

The American College of Radiology, the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) will celebrate this day to raise “greater awareness of the value that radiology contributes to safe patient care, and improving understanding of the vital role radiologists play in the healthcare continuum.”

Radiologists play an important role in healthcare, as they are often the ones who provide answers to a patient’s condition.  Thanks to today’s advanced technologies, radiologists can determine the exact nature of the problem at hand, whether it is a fracture, a tumor, or a damaged organ.

This year’s main theme of the day will be Oncologic Imaging. Radiology is a crucial component to all stages of cancer, from early detection to treatment.

“Deaths from cancer and other serious illnesses and injuries have plummeted in recent years largely due to early diagnosis made possible by imaging exams. Millions of people worldwide are alive, and many more are enjoying a greater quality of life today, because of advances in radiation therapy to treat many of the world’s deadliest cancers. International Day of Radiology recognizes one of the most successful technological and professional advancements in the history of modern health care,” said Paul H. Ellenbogen, M.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors.

Dr. Ben Pettus Discusses the Importance of Mammography

Dr. Ben Pettus, M.D., Ph.D., was honored to present a Grand Rounds lecture at Riverside Regional Medical Center. Grand Round lectures are an important teaching tool for physicians, and it is a great honor among physicians to be invited to speak. Grand Rounds lectures provide a great opportunity for collaboration and help keep health professional up to date in important or otherwise rapidly changing areas, including those which may be outside of their core practice. During his talk, Dr. Pettus covered many topics and information about breast imaging, but also addressed recent controversies surrounding mammography. Dr. Pettus stresses that mammography is highly beneficial and should be recommended, as regular mammography screenings have shown to save the lives of women.

Dr. Pettus received his PhD Doctor & Mammogram in Molecular and Cellular Biopathology relevant to the study and treatment of cancer, and earned his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Dr. Pettus completed his internship at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, VA, and his post graduate training included a Residency in Diagnostic Radiology and a Fellowship in Mammography and Breast Imaging from the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Currently, Dr. Pettus is a general diagnostic  radiologist, and a breast imaging & interventional specialist at Peninsula Radiological Associates, the sole radiological provider for the Riverside Health System.
Despite the abundant literature that supports the benefits of mammography, some controversies do exist. A first is related to a recent law passed in Virginia, which requires patients to be notified, via letter, of their breast density, and how this may affect the results of a mammography.  Dr. Pettus clarifies, “Although breast density may make readings of breast screenings more challenging and does create some limitations in sensitivity, mammography remains an invaluable tool in detecting breast cancer”. Dr.  Pettus stresses that patient education is crucial, and that physicians should strongly encourage patients to have their annual screenings. Women who receive a letter stating that they have elevated breast density, should request mammograms be performed with digital technique (which the entire Riverside System utilizes).  If they have a strong family history they may benefit from a formal risk assessment to determine any potential role for additional imaging methods.  Annual physical examination by a physician may also be of benefit as this may additionally allow for directed ultrasound approaches.

A second controversy is in regards to a policy statement recently released by the Federally Supported U.S. Preventative Services, which recommended against commonly accepted routine breast cancer screening methods for women in their forties. The American College of Radiology responded by stating, “The
recommendations make unconscionable decisions about the value of human life”. Dr. Pettus recommends that women should receive annual mammography screenings by the age of 40 or earlier for high-risk patients, so that cancers can be detected early to reduce mortality rates, and less invasive treatments can be preformed.

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in America. Before the onset of mammography screening, the death rate from advanced breast cancer remained unchanged for 50 years. However, since 1990, this rate has decreased by 30 percent, and recent studies suggest that mammograms may even be more effective than previously thought, reducing breast cancer mortality by more than 30 to 60 percent.

It is important for physicians to educate their patients on the benefits of mammography, and to provide them with the proper resources, so that they may make the best decisions for their well-being.


Peninsula Radiology Pledges to Image Wisely

image wisely logoPeninsula Radiology is proud to announce that we have taken the pledge to image wisely by optimizing the use of radiation when imagining patients. Our top priorities include the safety, welfare and health of all our patients. The team at Peninsula Radiology is committed to working together to use the lowest dose of radiation possible without affecting our ability to produce accurate and high quality images.

We are excited to be part of the Image Wisely Campaign, which is a collaborative initiative of the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), aims to optimize radiation dose used in adult medical imaging and ensure that patients receive only necessary scans.

Peninsula Radiology is always working hard to ensure that our equipment, software and protocols lower any risks to our patients, while still producing the best images available.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 757.989.8330, or ask us during your next visit. You can also learn more by visiting

Peninsula Radiological Associates Welcomes Dr. Grimson

Recently Dr. James M. Grimson joined the team of Board Certified radiologist at Peninsula Radiological Associates. Peninsula Radiology has been serving the Peninsula for over fifty years, and provides the most comprehensive range of medical diagnostic imaging, and procedures on the Virginia Peninsula.

Dr. Grimson received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in San Diego, Calif. He completed his internship at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. His postgraduate training included a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va, where he served as Chief Resident from 2003-2005, and again in 2007.

Prior to receiving his medial degree, Dr. Grimson graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. Before joining Peninsula Radiological Associates, he was Director of Breast Imaging at the Department of Radiology at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va. Dr. Grimson was also an Instructor Pilot at the Fighter Weapons School, which is the real life “Top Gun”. He is qualified in F-14, F-16 and A-4 jets.

Currently, Dr. Grimson is serving an academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Radiology/ Radiological Science at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He is a member of the American College of Radiology, and the Radiological Society of North America.

Dr. Grimson recently moved to Williamsburg, Va, and enjoys spending time with his wife, son, and daughter. “I love working for Peninsula Radiological Associates because of the warmth, professionalism, and wonderful personalities of my colleagues, and the Riverside professionals who support us. We have state-of-the-art facilities, and I look forward to working here for many  years to come”, said Dr. Grimson.