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Looking for trouble with the 'one-minute scan'

作者:滑崃    发布时间:2019-03-03 02:07:02    

By James Kingsland BILL Casarella awoke in the recovery room after a 5-hour operation with excruciating pain in his chest and his body riddled with tubes and catheters. A few weeks earlier, a scan had revealed nodules in his lungs. When further tests proved inconclusive, Casarella, a 65-year-old radiologist from Atlanta, Georgia, had undergone surgery to remove the lumps. The news from the lab was good: the nodules were not cancerous, merely the result of a relatively harmless fungal infection. What Casarella had not anticipated was the toll surgery would take. “The tubes were slowly removed, but the excruciating pain lingered,” he wrote in a heartfelt letter to the journal Radiology shortly after his experience (vol 224, p 927). “Two weeks at home taking prescribed narcotics were required before the pain became bearable and a modicum of strength returned.” The irony is that before his annual check-up, Casarella had been fit and well. Casarella’s experience was the result of a health craze that started in the US a few years ago and has now reached Europe and Australia: CT or computed tomography screening. A CT scan involves sweeping a patient’s body with a powerful beam of X-rays, which are picked up by an array of detectors and then assimilated by a computer to create richly detailed images of up to 64 cross sections or “slices” through the body. A growing number of private clinics tout CT scanning as a way to pick up serious health problems such as tumours,

 

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