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interesting decision by deputy chief of american cancer society?

ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

Headline news in the Chicago Tribune on 3/8/2010. Deputy Chief medical officer of the american cancer society refused to have a CT scan done citing the risk for cancer was too high. It seems an imaging test revealed a small nodule in Dr. Len Lichenfelds lung. Article does not mention type of imaging test or why it was done. We all know imaging tests are not done for the sake of doing them. He states the following:

"The reality is, I thought the radiation dose from those follow-up scans represented more of a threat than the nodule."

Cmon Doc., I have had 39 radiation treatments to my head and go for CT scans every 3 months to head, lungs, and abdomen. Food for thought isn't it?

Remember this guy is the Deputy Cheif of this very website?

What choice will you make? I opt for continuing the scans since I already have enough radiation to light up bulbs with my ears but what does he know that they are not telling us?

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

Perhaps the decision is based more upon the idea that most lung nodules have absolutely no significance at all. Why waste the time and money for the scan, if no further information will be derived. We all know that our treatments are dangerous, and in our cases, the danger of not treating far outweighs the danger of the treatment itself. That is not the case for our Deputy here. Perhaps he is trying to set an example?

Deb L

ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

perhaps, but we would have to know what necessitated the original scan and why it no longer is important to him. Lots of possibilities here. Could have been an MRI or PET which he may opt for later. I don't wish the man any harm. Just found it somewhat ironic given his position. No one ever mentioned to me how dangerous the CT scans were. It is also increasingly alarming at how often we have our leaders telling us that mamagrams are no longer important, or prostrate exams, and now CT scans?? Seems we are getting away from early detection and I would think a cancer spokesman might be advocating the opposite?

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

Excellent thread, Ratface.
Couple months ago there was a press release about the "unreliablity" of CT scans, and wonder if that's got something to do with it. Still, one would think one of the ACS leaders would not hesitate to get a test all of our Drs. advise us that we must get. Yeah...And, there is the matter of False Positives with the Pet Scans, too.
Remember all- the risk of a secondary caused by the tests and treatment is well known, and has been a topic- though not a popular one with anyone. Less than a month from now I have my 3rd Pet Scan, and they always do a CT scan then and there right after the Pet- anyone think this routine is a potential double-whammy being dealt to me? I always figured the Drs. who "interpret" the scan results use them both as comparatives to reach result conclusions. Does this sound logical?

Again, Ratface- VERY INTERESTING...

Thank You


ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

was also the lead story on the cancer compass newsletter. Funny how before cancer it wouldn't even have registered, just a passing blip in the night.

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Very interesting point, if nothing else it does make you wonder. We do know that the PET and CT are not all that good for the body because of the radiation but on the other hand it is a tool and can help the doc to know where to treat.

One reason I pray Lord I am in your hands

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