Studies show more than two million Canadians are living with osteoporosis and another three million have low bone mass, which often leads to the debilitating disease.
According to a 2015 study, the disease costs the national health-care system an estimated $1.9 billion to treat per year. Research also found an additional $1.3 billion in annual costs due to lost productivity and caregiving for osteoporosis patients.
A new clinic in Kelowna is trying to do what it can to help people get a head start on osteoporosis treatment and other afflictions. Dexacan, which is located in the Jack Nathan Medical Clinic in Kelowna’s Walmart, offers body scans for those who seek a precise picture of their current health.
Dexacan is committed to and focused on preventative screening in an attempt to treat conditions and also prevent others.
A DEXA body composition scan, which stands for dual X-ray absorptiometry, passes a high and low energy X-ray beam through the body. It is the first of its kind in the Interior to offer body composition and aortic calcification scans.
A person needs specific risk factors to qualify for a bone density scan, and with the current wait times it may take as long as a year to have one done. Not only that, but it required a trip to a larger centre like Vancouver if you wanted it done immediately. Given the strict requirements to qualify for a scan, it is often too late. Individuals often receive the terrible news that they have already developed osteoporosis by the time they get their scans. In other words, it is reactive health care.
Dexacan’s scans are assessed by a radiologist who is proficient in bone densitometry, and the clinic offers a service that will include follow-up appointments with physicians who are knowledgeable in DEXA scans and body composition. They will analyze the reports and develop personal management plans for each patient.
It’s no secret the current health-care system is bursting at the seams. Wait times are terrifyingly long, and those who work in the system are overburdened. Dexacan’s mission is to take as much strain off the health-care system as it can and also help patients who are negatively affected by its current status.
Bone density is just one piece of information that can be determined through a body composition scan at Dexacan. Body fat percentage, muscle mass and aortic calcification are other health factors that can be assessed, whether you are an athlete trying to build muscle and lose fat, or someone who is struggling with obesity and weight loss.
“The majority of the people going for those scans are doing it for personal development,” Dr. Marvin Bailey says. “It’s athletes or people who are setting some form of a goal for themselves, be it personal, be it a health journey, whereby they can objectively track things right and then see black and white six months later that they’ve made some hard progress.”
The process of getting the scan is simple. You lie back on a table while the scanner goes back and forth over your body, collecting information as it goes. The amount of radiation emitted is what you would experience over the course of a normal day. The computer then produces a full analysis that includes precise locations of bone, fat and muscle mass.
Once your scan is complete, you will meet with a physician who is knowledgeable on body composition and bone densitometry scans. The clinic is also planning to partner with local providers and eventually get involved with research.
For more information, visit the Dexacan website here.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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