We hope it doesn’t happen… and in most cases, we’re worrying about nothing. But peace of mind, when it comes to your health cannot be underestimated.
Sometimes, the quickest way to find the root cause of a genuine health concern is to have a scan. It’s a lot simpler and easier to do than you might think. I’m going to talk you through what I know and what cutting-edge scans are now available AND what each type of scan is used for. So, let’s break down any walls, misunderstanding and talk about how easy it is to put your health first!
Having a scan can be daunting, especially if you have never had one before and don’t know what to expect. For many people, long waiting lists and then the time taken to get your results can also make us anxious. By going private, you can avoid long waiting lists and get an appointment as quick as the next day, or even on Saturdays without requiring a referral from your GP.
In private hospitals like Pall Mall Medical, you can get a free of charge referral from their own onsite GPs. You can have your concerns investigated discreetly and you can choose whether your GP or specialist is informed of your results. In addition, I’ve discussed in my recent blog that we can potentially use our health insurance policies - every little helps when it comes to getting to the bottom of our health concerns.
Here are some of the most popular scans and what they do:
1. MRI scans
MRI scans are common practice for diagnosing many muscle and joint injuries, but they are also important in the investigations of anomalies of the brain and spinal cord, tumours, cysts, and other organs and soft tissue in various parts of the body.
An MRI scan does not involve any exposure to radiation. The process uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (magnets) to produce detailed images of specific areas of the body.
The good news is that with much less risk than other types of radiological scanning, it is a great option if your seeking reassurance, either to obtain an expert diagnosis of an injury / condition even just for peace of mind.
Whether it’s pain, joint troubles or wanting to check a worrying lump, an MRI is a safe and effective way to get answers without needing any referral from your NHS GP.
A typical MRI scan typically costs around £400 with results in as little as 3-5 days.
2. CT Calcium Score
A CT Calcium Score is a way of assessing your heart for coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis (the build-up of fats or cholesterol in arteries), before you even have any symptoms.
Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT) for calcium scoring uses special x-ray equipment to produce pictures of the coronary arteries to determine if they are blocked or narrowed by the build-up of plaque - an early indication that you may be at a higher risk of having a heart attack
Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries.
Early detection of the build-up of calcium, means you can access preventive treatments and make lifestyle changes that can make all the difference to your future risk of a heart attack and other forms of vascular disease such as stroke.
If you have been suffering from any cardiac symptom’s and want to investigate further, or maybe coronary artery disease runs in your family and you would like peace of mind, why not be pro-active and try a CT Calcium Score from £395 with Pall Mall Medical.
3. Virtual Colonoscopy
In the past, to investigate colon and bowel issues, patients would need to have a surgical procedure called a colonoscopy. However, X-ray technology has advanced so much that it is now possible to have a ‘virtual’ colonoscopy using a CT scan. Taking away the need for a much more invasive procedure, this alternative scan is also much faster and more comfortable, taking just 20 minutes away from your daily routine.
With a virtual colonoscopy, the consultant has access to cutting-edge three-dimensional images to examine the colon, rectum and small intestines to diagnose potential colon and bowel issues, including; polyps, diverticulosis and cancer.
What’s more, it can also detect abnormalities outside the colon, which a traditional colonoscopy would not be able to spot.
The Virtual Colonoscopy can be used for bowel cancer screening in addition to exploring the
possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhoea and other intestinal problems.
Why let unexplained weight loss or a change in bowel habits go unchecked? Understand your concerns quickly and be able to travel home the very same day.
You can get this scan from as little as £840 - performed by a radiologist and receive an expert report.
4. MRI for Prostate
Listen up chaps, this amazing, state-of-the-art, multi parametric prostate scan could cut prostate cancer diagnosis time from 6 weeks to a matter of days at Pall Mall Medical.
The Multi-Parametric MRI for the Prostate is a leading scan designed to detect over 90% of prostate cancers and can identify 1 in 4 men who can safely avoid having any invasive TRUS biopsy. Currently, TRUS biopsies are frequently undertaken to identify prostate cancer, but sadly they are not always reliable and can also be uncomfortable for patients
This type of scan is unfortunately not yet standard practice in NHS hospitals and therefore it can be hard to find in your local area and difficult to get access to. Because of this availability challenge, it is one of the best scans you can get privately.
So, if you are putting off a prostate check for fear of the unknown or maybe you’re just a bit embarrassed, try this pioneering scan from £975 with a Consultant Urologic Radiologist who will provide a full interpretation of the results.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in 35-49-year-old women in the UK. Having a mammogram is not just for those who have the symptoms, if you find a suspicious lump or want peace of mind, you can take the opportunity to dispel those concerns with a private mammogram.
Breast specialists recommend regular screening from just 35 years old. Screening at this age is common practice in other countries such as the USA, however, in the UK you will most likely, need to go private.
This can be done without any NHS referral and your screening will be confidential. You can book a private mammogram from just 35 years old with Pall Mall Medical.
Those aged between 35-40 are eligible, if they have a family history of a first degree relative with breast cancer. If you don’t have family history and are aged between 35-40, you can still have the alternative ‘ultrasound scan’ with a breast surgeon.
A mammogram takes only 20 minutes, and for a very small amount of discomfort, you can get early diagnosis or a very welcome, all clear!
Results come from an expert Consultant Radiologist for £320, allowing you to put your mind at ease. Remind your friends and family too!
Scans really are not as scary as you may think! They are an opportunity to get an early diagnosis and therefore, get faster access to the right treatment and advice to reduce your future risks. Is it time for you to say goodbye to any apprehension or anxiety and get the answers you need?
If you would like to book an appointment for any type of scan, please contact Pall Mall Medical by calling 03300 58 44 55 or email email@example.com
If you're looking for a scan between Liverpool City Centre and Manchester City Centre, then visit us at our private hospital in Newton-le-Willows. There are NO waiting lists and you DON'T need a referral letter from the NHS for a scan at Pall Mall Medical. We offer a simple call and book system for all self-funding and medically insured patients.