Tag Archives: X-ray

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Bone Scanning and Osteoperosis

Here’s a little-known fact: Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. Radiologist Robert Bleakney says the issue is under-reported and under-recognized.scan

Dr. Bleakney specializes in musculoskeletal/ bone radiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and is the head of musculoskeletal imaging at the Joint Department of medical Imaging (JDMI). He uses the technique to assess a bone’s mineral density in order to determine a patient’s fracture risk.

“Bone mineral density or mineralization tells us the strength of the bones,” he says. “You want a higher score. The higher the score, the more dense the bone.”

The scans are based on X rays, similar to a Chest X ray, but use a fraction of the radiation dose, equivalent to a few days of natural background radiation or a transatlantic flight. The patient receives two X-rays of varying energy, usually targeting the spine and the left hip. Those are the areas that best predict fracture risk. Using the scan results, Dr. Bleakney can determine whether a patient has a low, moderate or high risk for subsequent fractures.scan 2From there, doctors can look at appropriate treatment methods. For low-risk patients, lifestyle changes may be all that’s needed. High-risk patients may be offered medications that help strengthen their bones.

While anyone can suffer from the impacts of a fracture, women are often at an increased risk for fractures. Other risk factors include:

  • Being over 65
  • Early menopause
  • Family history of fractures, osteoporosis and past fragility fractures
  • Certain medications: Steroids have been known to decrease bone mineral density and increase fracture risk

You don’t need to  wait for your own scan to think about strengthening your bones and reducing fracture risk. Here are some useful tips:

  • Regular weight-bearing exercise helps stimulate bone growth. Running, walking and weight lifting are all good options.
  • Fall Prevention techniques by strengthening the muscles. This can include physiotherapy
  • Calcium and Vitamin D supplements

Dr. Bleakney says fractures often result in decreased mobility or even death. The economic impact cannot be ignored. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, fractures cost Canadian tax payers over $2 billion dollars annually.

With an aging population, the matter is only certain to gain even more importance. According to Osteoporosis Canada, “Without BMD (bone mineral density) testing, 80% of patients with a history of fractures are not given osteoporosis therapies. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians needlessly fracture each year because their osteoporosis goes undiagnosed and untreated.”

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CNA Visits the Canada Science and Technology Museum

By Erin Polka
Communications Officer
Canadian Nuclear Association

On January 28, 2015, CNA staff had the opportunity to view the nuclear material currently in storage at the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Like any museum, only a small percentage of their collection is on display at any given time. So we were very pleased when they invited us to take in the entire collection.

Below are some of the museum’s nuclear-related artifacts, which few people have ever seen.

Original electronic tower from the ZEEP nuclear reactor at Chalk River, c. 1945.
Original electronic tower from the ZEEP nuclear reactor at Chalk River, c. 1945.
The triple axis spectrometer (c. 1956) designed and used by Nobel Prize Winner, Betrum Brockhouse.
Triple axis spectrometer (c. 1956) designed and used by Nobel Prize winner, Bertram Brockhouse.
1920s Dental X-ray machine.
1920s dental x-ray machine.
1950s X-ray shoe fitter.
1950s x-ray shoe fitter.
(Front)  ZEEP fuel rod prototype designed by George Klein c. 1945 (Back) The 100,00th CANDU Fuel Bundle presented to Prime Minister Trudeau in 1975.
(Front) ZEEP fuel rod prototype designed by George Klein c. 1945. (Back) The 100,000th CANDU fuel bundle presented to Prime Minister Trudeau in 1975.
The "Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) Model" on loan to CSTMC from A‎ECL at Chalk River.
The “Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) model” on loan from CNL at Chalk River.