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CT Scans

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Can you imagine the cancers that would be caught early if CT scans were used as a preventive instead of just a diagnostic tool. Maybe as part of a physical exam when a patient reaches a certain age, although, based on the membership here, kidney cancer seems to be striking us younger and younger. Even if it was done every two years the number of lives saved might be incredible. Am I being unrealistic because of the excessive exposure to radiation? Or am I being unrealistic because the insurance companies would never go for it?

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

With luck, Mike, you're not being unrealistic and as funds become available this scenario will get ever closer - I share your hope that it will happen sooner rather than later.

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

My husband said the same thing to my urologist when my cancer was found. "Why isn't this part of a routine physical"?? Hopefully it will be soon.

Blessings,
Lisa

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Its probably a cost thing, but it seems like they should be able to offer CT's for next to nothing and make up for the cost fixing all the issues found.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

and, Gary, the colossal savings made by improving survival rates.

I don't know whether you know this but it is reckoned that of all causes of illness and death cancer does more economic damage around the world than anything else because of the far-reaching damage it does to people's lives - sufferers, families and caregivers, employers, medical resources, etc etc You'd think that those savings could fund a few scanners and economies of scale could make them a lot more affordable if there were a real commitment.

Maybe a major lobby is called for? Perhaps there is one we don't know about yet!

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Here's something interesting:

http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/MedicalImaging/MedicalX-Rays/ucm115340.htm

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2146
Joined: Oct 2011

..Maybe every 5-10 years like a colonoscopy. More often or less based on risk factors.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Another excellent link Mike. The pages on sonograms and MRI are worth looking at too. Presumably the positron equivalent of the electron device (that is PET v CAT) will attract the same appraisal. Perhaps Fox can tell us and let us know if he has to carry a geiger counter!

The FDA makes good points and acknowledges that where there is a case (e.g. significant symptoms, essential follow-up, likelihood of inheriting cancer) then the benefits will outweigh the disadvantages. It certainly doesn't invalidate the case we were presenting.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2146
Joined: Oct 2011

Cripe, More than my share. Maybe something like 13-14 scans of one kind or another since march 2010. Maybe 8-10 in last 2 months. Now one every 6 weeks. I don't need a night light in my bathroom. I light the way by myself. Hard to miss the toilet. I know exactly where it is. Tidy Bowl man took a new job as the Toxic Avenger.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

With you and Gary and the other usual suspects on board we can't stop laughing for very long. Keeps the spirits up and that's valuable low-cost therapy!

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

With you and Gary and the other usual suspects on board we can't stop laughing for very long. Keeps the spirits up and that's valuable low-cost therapy! I hope the astronomers don't attack you for your contribution to light pollution.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

I just saw something on the news about the Aurora Borealis being especially strong lately,
now I know the real reason and it ain't the sun.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Gary, my friend, that's really spooky just seconds before I read your message I emailed this to my Daughter :

"Wouldn't you just know it - we've had sharp frosts lately with resultant clear night skies so full of stars you can hardly breathe for fear of disturbing some gargantuan event that took place a thousand million years ago and now, when we ought to see the Aurora it's too cloudy to see even Sirius!

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

I was sure I was going to set off the scanners at the airport just from the radiation I've had lately. Zzzzzzzzzzttt!

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

So that's where that radiant smile comes from, Jamie! :)

rae_rae's picture
rae_rae
Posts: 284
Joined: Oct 2010

When I was waiting to have my first scan - the very one that found my tumor- they had an emergency come in that delayed my appointment by about 45 minutes so I picked up various magazines and started reading. I happened to pick up a Reader's Digest and stumbled upon an article about CT scans and the amount of radiation they produce- somewhere up to 400 xrays depending upon what you were having done etc. The article went on to discuss how having repeated CT scans may cause cancer in some individuals. Here I was, waiting to have a CT scan, reading this. By the time I got done, I was seriously considering bailing on my appointment. At the time, I thought I had an ulcer and figured the CT scan was another waste of money medical test. I have to tell you the longer I waited, the more the urge was to bolt. But I decided to stay for peace of mind. Sure am glad I did.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

I'll be sure to ask my urologist this week but meantime does anyone have good information/experience about whether sonograms or MRI are acceptable alternatives for follow-up scans? It would cut down on the amount of radiation we're exposed to but may not be worth it if the information is less revealing or less reliable.

BG
Posts: 85
Joined: Jun 2011

Why not an ultrasound? Non invasive, rather quick, cheap I suppose compared to CT, no radiation, and several individuals on this board discovered their RCC by searching for something else with an ultrasound.

They were checking my liver via ultrasound, and only checked my right kidney. Luck the liver is on that side, otherwise I would likely not be 7 months post op right now.

BG

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Sounds ultra-sensible BG!
It also reminded me to ask if anyone here has had any experience of HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) as a form of non-invasive cancer therapy.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

I've advised all my kids to have ultrasounds as a precautionary measure since their maternal grandfather and now me have had RCC and i was concerned about the genetic link. I figured they could switch to CT in the event that something was found some day.

keephopealive11's picture
keephopealive11
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2011

If we can have the ultrasound as part of the annual checkup, lots of diseases can be caught earlier. It is the time to have the health care reform. We are simply not spending enough on the disease prevention and earlier detection.

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