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NLMSF E-Bulletin February 12, 2017

NLMSF E-Bulletin
Febuary 12, 2017

  • Improving Health Care – Interesting Perspective from the New England Journal of Medicine
  • Understanding radiation Risk from Imaging Tests
  • Dr. Anusha Kalbasi, Radiation Oncologist, Ronald Reagan/UCLA Medical Center Joins the NLMSF’s CONNECT WITH A CLINICIAN  Q & A PROGRAM
  •  Light a HOPE ETERNAL CANDLE….all year long.
  •  Reminder:  Thursday, Feb. 16th 5 pm PST;  6 pm MST;  7 pm  CST; 8 pm EST –  LMS LIVE CONNECT
  • Sign up at www.nlmsf.org to participate on the patient-patient; caregiver – caregiver call in.
  • Stay Tuned For New Valentine Message capability on the 13th
  • IMPROVING HEALTH CARE –  from the New England Journal of Medicine – for Patient/Families/Caregivers”Experts suggest ways for hospitals to engineer social incentives among friends and family to improve health care.”  –  from MDLINX     . . . .
        https://www.mdlinx.com/prac0tice-management/print-preview.cfm/700964This is an interesting perspective from the New England Journal of Medicine posted by MedLinx.  All of us should think about how this can impact our care, our family’s care in the future.UNDERSTANDING RADIATION RISK FROM IMAGING TESTS

    Dr. Mitch Achee, Diagnostic Radiologist and LMS survivor currently,  addressed this topic at two Patient Education Programs a few years ago.  He is the NLMSF Medical Advisory Committee Chair.  You can see his introduction video under the All About Us webpage of the www.nlmsf.org website.
    In brief, here is abbreviated information about this subject – summarized from the following link:

    In large doses – radiation cancer causes tissue damage and increases the risk of developing cancer later on. The low doses of radiation used for imaging tests could increase cancer risk slightly.

    People are constantly exposed to what is called “background radiation” from the environment, radon gas in our homes, etc.  This exposure varies across the country, with an average exposure of 3 mSV (millisieverts) of radiation from natural sources over the course of a year.  A millisievert is a  measure of radiation exposure.  the largest source of: background radiation” comes from the natural gas found in our homes. Radon levels vary from one part of the country to another.

    How much does an imaging test expose a person to radiation?
    The amount of radiation exposure from an imaging test depends on the imaging test use and what part of the body is being tested.
    *  A single chest x-ray exposure = 0.1 mSv. = the same amount of radiation exposure which occurs naturally over the about 10 days.
    * A mammogram = 0.4 mSv exposure, or about the amount of background exposure over 7 weeks.
    *  A lower GI series using x-rays of large intestine = exposure of about 8 mSv or the amount of exposure over a 3 year period.
    *  A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis = exposure of about 10 mSv – more than about 3 years worth of exposure
    *  A PET/CT exposure is about 25 mSv of radiation = to about 8 years of average background radiation exposure.

    NOTE:  Each person is different and the radiation amounts will therefore, vary a great deal.  The above are estimates for an average sized adult.

    What can I do if I am worried about radiation from imaging tests?
    If you are concerned about the level of cumulative radiation you may be receiving from repeated CT scanning, PET scanning or any other imaging test that uses radiation, speak to your oncologist, radiation oncologist, medical care team. Make sure that you are getting the imaging tests that you absolutely need.

    Try to limit your exposure to all forms of radiation.  Ask if there are ways to shield the parts of your body that will not be imaged – such as asking for a lead apron to protect parts of your chest or abdomen from getting radiation or a lead collar (thyroid collar) to shield /protect your thyroid gland.

    Keep track of your own history of imaging tests – a medical imaging record of you own.  This may help prevent unnecessary repeated tests from being ordered.  You can go to www.imagewisely.org for examples of imaging records for adults in English or Spanish.

    NOTE: The various types of scans are the best way to monitor and look for cancer and other diseases, therefore, a person will be helped more than hurt.The risk of low-level radiation exposure is difficult to calculate.

    Dr. ANUSHA KALBASI, MD:   Radiation Oncologist – Health Sciences Clinical Instructor Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center – Ribas Lab Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology joins the NLMSF CONNECT WITH A CLINICIAN PROGRAM –  in support pf patients with the opportunity for them to ask general questions and receive feedback from a volunteer clinician (this does not take the place of one’s own oncologist or medical team – see specific disclaimer information about the program). We thank Dr. Kalbasi for his gracious support of the Foundation’s followers in this way.


  • LIGHT A HOPE ETERNAL CANDLE –  Launched on World Cancer Day on Feb. 4th –  the opportunity to light a candle and share a message will remain as an ongoing expression of hope, courage, strength, inspiration on behalf of a loved one, a friend, coworker…to remember and reflect.  Visit www.nlmsf.org to light your candle and express your thoughts and feelings.Thank you All –   Annie Achee-  NLMSFMOVING FORWARD TOGETHER…Focusing on the Future… in our Quest For the CURE