Recently an article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com* noted: “ DESPITE great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: Of course, early diagnosis thanks to medical imaging can be lifesaving. But there is distressingly little evidence of better health outcomes associated with the current high rate of scans. There is, however, evidence of its harms.”
“CTs, once rare, are now routine. One in 10 Americans undergo a CT scan every year, and many of them get more than one. This growth is a result of multiple factors, including a desire for early diagnoses, higher quality imaging technology, direct-to-consumer advertising and the financial interests of doctors and imaging centers. CT scanners cost millions of dollars; having made that investment, purchasers are strongly incentivized to use them.”
Ask your primary care physician for advice given the ambiguity over the "evidence." And, ask your doctor if she or he has a financial interest in the imaging center you are referred to?
*to read the full NYTs article “We Are Giving Ourselves Cancer”, by Rita F. Redberg and Rebecca Smith-Bindmanjan , highlight and click on open hyperlink http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/opinion/we-are-giving-ourselves-cancer.html?_r=0
Note: This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.