CT Scans May Have Dangerous Downside

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wdlove, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #1
  2. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    yeah, i saw something similar about mammograms (sp) for breast cancer testing and how they might actually increase the risk of breast cancer. and now ct scans do the same thing. i guess there's a downside to everything-you're damned if you do; you're damned if you don't
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Wow, this actually made the news? This has been known for as long as CT has been around, probably longer.

    Yes, x-rays from CT leads to an increase risk of cancer, but you should only ever get a CT scan done if you know something is wrong. If you think that a patient may have prostate cancer, this is a good way to find out where it is. If you're paying money through some private practice (or if you're American and that's just the way it is) to undergo a regular checkup, then don't undergo a full body CT. Even doctors will tell you not to do so, and yet people think they know better and get it done anyway. Private practices make money off of this. This is why systems like the Canadian health care system work so well. The US spends the most money on healthcare in the world, but gain the least from it. Even in places like Australia, where I believe CT scans are covered by Medicare, there are private practices that will do a CT scan if you pay.

    This story is only considered news if you've been completely misinformed.
     
  4. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

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    Why do you think Radiologists wear the Lead suits when operating with the aid of a C.T? Why do you think the operators sit behind Lead Glass to protect themselves? There IS a risk involved, but it is one I take out every day when I go to work. I have no qualms with the operation of these machines, and I will continue to work around them.
    Bingo, hit the nail on the head. I know a Radiologist that operates a practice like that. Good man (loves his Macs) and he is fine with sending people who are too young, or look physically healthy away, if he feels they don't need a scan. So far, he had been right on every occasion. I however work in the private sector, not a private practice, so my juniors get the list of scans to be done for the day, ALL of them are hospital patients. If they didn't need a scan why would they be there?

    I could go on for ages, as this is a subject I am passionate about (just ask my Wife) but I will stop now, because there is really nothing left to say about this, other than THERE IS A RISK INVOLVED IN ANY X-RAY, OR EVEN WALKING IN FRONT OF YOUR MICROWAVE, BUT IN SMALL, CONTROLLED DOSES, X-RAYS ARE FINE!
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Well yes I know that. I said myself that there is a risk involved. But for a radiotherapist, nuc med, radiography, etc, there is a long term exposure, which is the reason for the lead lined glass and such.

    And there are lots of private practices that do unnecessary scans. Yes, your friend may turn people away, but there are quite a few people who don't do that as often as they should.

    They may turn people away if its obviously nothing, but some people just pull the trigger if there's any little thing that could be wrong, which isn't right. With such a high dose delivered, they should make sure that it's absolutely necessary, but they don't. If they're checking for the presence of a tumour that they have reason to believe exists, then great, use it. But otherwise, they shouldn't. The quality of private practices probably differs depending on location, but there are too many bad ones who don't turn people away as often as they should. Again, maybe that's why America get so little back when they incur the greatest healthcare costs.

    I can't wait for Proton CT to be a reality (and cost effective). That's 20 - 50x less dose delivered than CT, if I remember correctly. About as high as a regular radiograph.
     
  6. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    #6
    What harmful rays come out of a microwave?
    I thought that the way it works was that it excites the water molecules and thats how it cooks your food.
     
  7. Angelus macrumors 6502

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    My impression of how micro waves work was that they emit microwaves within the appliance. The important thing is that be it by reflection or some other producer of waves, there exists a number of waves in the appliance which are in phase. This allows the waves to interact by means of constructive interference which imparts energy to the molecules in the food(not just water). The molecules start to move and become "hot". The reason the food is put on a turning base is to allow even heating since the pattern of interference is pretty unchanging and would result in hot and cold spots.
     
  8. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    At least here in Massachusetts those private firms that do CT and MRI scans are in it for the money. Most are owned by doctors. Patients are increasing asking their doctor to order a scan whether it is needed or not. Some facilities will do them without a doctor's order. X-rays are starting to become a burden to insurance companies like medications.

    I just don't think that any medical procedure should be done unless it it medically necessary. The risks are just too great. Fear of a law suit isn't a good reason, hopefully that can be changed.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    I thought that all microwaves, whether through constructive interference or not, just provided energy to water molecules like iLikemyiMac said. Well, that's what I read, anyway. I think if you put a dry food into the microwave, you can easily prove it. I think wet foods tend to heat a bowl more than a dry food heats a dish. A dish may not even get hot if the food contains almost no moisture. But again, I've never tried it. I just thought that would be a good experiment. ;)

    And private practices are the bain of the world. They're not all like that, but its just business for many practices. Just go to Sydney and get a CT or MRI done for $1000. Plus their quality assurance is subpar because they don't follow the same guidelines that hospitals do. Their results and images can be well off the results of a hospital imaging machine.
     
  10. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

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    I started out in the Public system. If you think that the services in a Private Practice is bad, go to Sutherland hospital or St. George (both Public Hospitals in Sydney's South) and you will see a gross neglect in patient care in the running of the hospitals, not just the Radiology practices. The private practice my friend runs (www.3dhealthscreen.com.au) is mainly a referral base. If you don't have one from your G.P, the prices are $AU~1500, but with a referral, they come down to $~300. Where I work, the ONLY way to get a scan is to be a patient at the Hospital. A referal means nothing. We use a new Digital Imaging System called PACS. We look at our images on a eMac CRT screen, so you think the images we see are any better than on a piece of film? I have had lost of eye problems(I now wear contact lenses) because of staring at a CRT screen all day. Compared to this, the X-Rays i receive do MUCH less damage!
     
  11. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

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    I don't see why anyone would take a CT scan if they don't need one. I can't stand the milkshakes they make you drink before hand
     
  12. jhu macrumors 6502a

    jhu

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    #12
    who is getting full-body ct scans? better yet, why are these morons getting full-body ct scans?
     
  13. voicegy macrumors 65816

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    Speaking only from what scant news I've seen, this is a new "vogue" in so-called private practice preventative "medicine."

    "Step right up, folks, and get yer body scan here! Ya never know what might be uncovered! Modern marvels can see inside your body and will tell your future! Obtain peace of mind!"

    A lot like the ultrasound clinics that have popped up all over the place giving expectant mothers-to-be their first "baby pictures."

    Both examples, to me, are medically questionable and unneccessary, and serve only to make easy bucks for companies that provide such potentially harmful "services" as such previously out-of-reach high tech capabilities trickle down to the masses.
     
  14. Angelus macrumors 6502

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    If you ask me this trend of full-body scans is rampant medicalisation. Granted there are a number of criteria essential for healthy human beings but with everyone being so different how can we know(or claim to know) what is normal?
     
  15. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

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    I have to say I agree with that statement. There is a great number of Radiology practices opening up, offering full body scans. Hell, i've even been asked by patients if we offer a service like that. Where I work (I'm keeping names out, if nobody minds) the short and long answer is NO There has to be some good guys out there that only work under the orders of the Doctors :D ! The one thing many people don't understand is that newer CT scanners, like the one we use (GE Medical, 16 Slice, http://www.gehealthcare.com/usen/ct/products/pro16.html) which uses a VERY low dose rate, which allows a larger number of patients to be scanned per day. This is not an advantage in hospitals ( I had to fight to the bone with the Radiologists to get GE back into my work) but in the private practice, that is a way to make money. I understand the articles. There is always going to be a slight amount of controversy with radiation imaging, but until someone finds a better way of doing it, that is what we will use (to make money[in my case]) and also to diagnose problems inside a patients body.
     
  16. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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  17. jhu macrumors 6502a

    jhu

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