The Doctors: Understanding Your Doctor’s Lingo
Doctors are known to have terrible handwriting, but their spoken words can be just as confusing! Doctors have their own language, and it’s not always easy for those of us who don’t have ‘M.D.’ attached to our name to understand. However, since communicating with your doctor is key to having good health, let’s break down some common medical lingo.
The Doctors: Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello
The Doctors were joined by Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello, who revealed that there are over 30,000 abbreviations that doctors commonly use. For example: P.E. For most of us who grew up attending P.E. class, we probably think P.E. stands for Physical Education. However, P.E. can mean a variety of different things, from Physical Exam to– eek!– Prep an Enema.
Other abbreviations include U.F.O, which is not an Unidentified Flying Object, but an Unidentified Foreign Object (i.e., a kid getting something stuck up his nose). An F.U.O. might sound like a bad word, but it is actually a Fever of Unknown Origin.
Dr. Stork explained that doctors use acronyms and abbreviations because it helps them get things done more quickly. However, since it can be confusing, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to clarify things; he or she will be happy to help you out.
The Doctors: CESM Mammogram Scan & Dr. Kristi Funk
Dr. Kristi Funk joined the Doctors to discuss an incredible medical breakthrough: CESM scans. CESM stands for Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography, and incredibly, the scan can detect a tumor smaller than a pea.
Dr. Funk explained that a CESM scan is applied to your regular mammogram. What it does is use contrast to make the cancer appear more vividly; unlike a regular mammogram, where regular breast tissue can make everything appear “like a crazy snowstorm,” a CESM scan makes the cancer incredibly easy to spot. It will pick up on a tumor that is too small to be seen on a regular mammogram or too small to be felt through touch. Plus, instead of waiting weeks for results, the CESM scan is incredibly fast: it takes just three minutes.
Be sure to ask your doctor about this amazing new technology, and of course, stay on top of your breast health with regular self-exams and mammograms.