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(LA Times)   Think you have cancer? Get a CT scan. Just be careful not to get cancer in the process   (latimes.com) divider line 67
    More: Ironic  
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5116 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Dec 2009 at 6:26 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-12-15 06:19:39 PM
I work with radiologists so I'm getting a kick yadda yadda

Seriously though in small to mid-size city I live in (Dayton, OH) we have two problems. I imagine that in larger cities, the problems are just as bad, only bigger

One, ER docs CT EVERYTHING. A lot of the time it's necessary. Sometimes it's not. "Fall off the bed? From 2 feet? Let's do a CT of the whole spine! Just so I don't get sued!"

Two, we have two networks of hospitals. We can send CDs and reports between the two networks, but we can't see X-rays/CTs on demand (everything is digital). We can see (at least in our own network, can't speak for the other) everything done in our network. If it's done in the other network someone has to call and get a CD made and then send a courier to pick them up. That doesn't even include urgent cares and doctor's offices who have their own scanners. The result is medical records lag behind, so if a patient who is absolutely sure they have cancer goes to get a second opinion, doesn't mention they had a scan already, gets scanned again.

I wish I could stay and read any other opinions/posts, but I can't. I'll be back later...
 
2009-12-15 06:28:23 PM
APPROVES
http://tinyurl.com/yedf27u
(copy and paste)
 
2009-12-15 06:31:21 PM
I want to be the first to point out that this is a repeat from a while ago.

That is all.
 
2009-12-15 06:33:02 PM
Grote-Man
but we can't see X-rays/CTs on demand (everything is digital).

i'm thinking maybe because there's a legal ramification of transferring these files... you're not allowed to 'compress' them to jpg because it might cause some digital artifact that could be mistaken for a medical anomalie in the patient (or vice versa).
 
2009-12-15 06:33:29 PM
MRI rules! As long as you don't have any metallic implants. And as long as nobody wheels in the wrong kind of oxygen cylinder (new window) while you're in the magnet.
 
2009-12-15 06:35:20 PM
Every time I break myself I have to get CT scans. MRI would rip all the metal parts out of my body.
 
2009-12-15 06:35:39 PM
Remind me never to get a CT scan, even if it could save my life.

I don't wants the cancers.
 
2009-12-15 06:36:26 PM
NonAstrologer: I want to be the first to point out that this is a repeat from a while ago.

That is all.


It's a new report, although old news. You're probably thinking about the one from a month or two ago where they accidentally set the scanner to "broil" instead of "medium high" for stroke scans.
 
2009-12-15 06:39:02 PM
Then there is the MRI NSF issue.

/Gadolinium for the death
 
2009-12-15 06:39:39 PM
Grote-Man: One, ER docs CT EVERYTHING. A lot of the time it's necessary. Sometimes it's not. "Fall off the bed? From 2 feet? Let's do a CT of the whole spine! Just so I don't get sued!"

And the neuro guys like to make little movies, so they do head CTs every farking morning, sometimes bid, whether or not there's been any change of status.

/look! as I flip through the 35 ct shots, you can see the small parietal bleed absorb and disperse! Why did I do that? Well, it might have gotten worse. No, I didn't have any symptomatic reason to think that was happening - it's SOP for our service. Radiation? I guess there's some involved...what, about like a chest x-ray?
 
2009-12-15 06:40:14 PM
Touched in the No No Zone: Remind me never to get a CT scan, even if it could save my life.

I don't wants the cancers.


If you get the cancers you'll have to get a CT scan. Sometimes once or more per year for up to 5 years as follow up along w/ regular chest xrays. It's a real PITA.
 
2009-12-15 06:41:10 PM
FTA: Each year that current scanners are used, researchers reported, 14,500 deaths could result.

From the Institute of Pulling Numbers Out Of My Ass no doubt.
 
2009-12-15 06:42:56 PM
Touched in the No No Zone: Remind me never to get a CT scan, even if it could save my life.

I don't wants the cancers.


www.badpuns.com
 
2009-12-15 06:45:51 PM
This is why government run health care is a bad idea.
 
2009-12-15 06:46:04 PM
BobtheFascist: If you get the cancers you'll have to get a CT scan. Sometimes once or more per year for up to 5 years as follow up along w/ regular chest xrays. It's a real PITA.

Just had my 13th CT scan on Friday.

Yes, I am getting a kick...
 
2009-12-15 06:46:54 PM
BobtheFascist: Touched in the No No Zone: Remind me never to get a CT scan, even if it could save my life.

I don't wants the cancers.

If you get the cancers you'll have to get a CT scan. Sometimes once or more per year for up to 5 years as follow up along w/ regular chest xrays. It's a real PITA.



oooohhhh nnnooooeeeesssss
 
2009-12-15 06:47:02 PM
BobtheFascist: If you get the cancers you'll have to get a CT scan. Sometimes once or more per year for up to 5 years as follow up along w/ regular chest xrays. It's a real PITA.

Fark's infamous Political Inclination Thermometric Analyzer rears its ugly head again.
 
2009-12-15 06:47:07 PM
jfarkinB: MRI rules! As long as you don't have any metallic implants. And as long as nobody wheels in the wrong kind of oxygen cylinder (new window) while you're in the magnet.

I was a MRI tech last year. I miss it... grant money ran out and I wanted to move =/. Looking at brains all day, working with people, and the flexible hours of academia are amazing. My bosses were awesome as well. Plus unlimited access to all the journals I could ever want. I can't wait to go back to grad school/academia.
 
2009-12-15 06:47:18 PM
jamie-online.com


/hott
 
2009-12-15 06:48:29 PM
Vala0128: Looking at brains all day, working with people, and the flexible hours of academia are amazing.

Sounds like the perfect job for a zombie.
 
2009-12-15 06:53:19 PM
Awesome. I had a ton of CT scans when I had lymphoma a few years ago.

That's all I need, lymphoma cured and then a new form of cancer from the scans...
 
2009-12-15 06:53:50 PM
Grote-Man: I work with radiologists so I'm getting a kick yadda yadda

Seriously though in small to mid-size city I live in (Dayton, OH) we have two problems. I imagine that in larger cities, the problems are just as bad, only bigger

One, ER docs CT EVERYTHING. A lot of the time it's necessary. Sometimes it's not. "Fall off the bed? From 2 feet? Let's do a CT of the whole spine! Just so I don't get sued!"

Two, we have two networks of hospitals. We can send CDs and reports between the two networks, but we can't see X-rays/CTs on demand (everything is digital). We can see (at least in our own network, can't speak for the other) everything done in our network. If it's done in the other network someone has to call and get a CD made and then send a courier to pick them up. That doesn't even include urgent cares and doctor's offices who have their own scanners. The result is medical records lag behind, so if a patient who is absolutely sure they have cancer goes to get a second opinion, doesn't mention they had a scan already, gets scanned again.

I wish I could stay and read any other opinions/posts, but I can't. I'll be back later...


I work with the PACS system for the VA using VistA and CPRS. A scan done in a VA facility is instantly available globally in the VA network. The VA actually licenses (for free) the system to many networks. The problem is that the networks all need to be bridged together. It's doable if people get over their paranoia and the (sometimes) wrong idea that government gets nothing right.
 
2009-12-15 06:55:11 PM
well I got a ton of CT scans when I had cancer a year ago.

yay.

/here's hoping for superpowers
 
2009-12-15 06:55:29 PM
gorgor: APPROVES
http://tinyurl.com/yedf27u
(copy and paste)


ha, I like that
 
2009-12-15 06:59:04 PM
I prefer the taste of MRIs.
 
2009-12-15 06:59:45 PM
This is bad news... for House
 
2009-12-15 07:01:12 PM
You can also get cancer from xrays, so maybe we shouldn't be doing those either.
 
2009-12-15 07:02:43 PM
I read a version of this article last night and sort of shrugged in a damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of way.

Curiously this morning I stumbled across a 1956 issue of Mechanix Illustrated, wherein it was announced that a cure for cancer was on the list of things to expect "soon."

What made that especially interesting was most of the other things on the list are now all realities (and some many times over and in much more advanced ways).

/still no cure for cancer :(
 
2009-12-15 07:03:41 PM
Using figures FTFA:

number of CT scans -- more than 70 million per year
about 29,000 future cancers could be related to CT scans


So, the chances of getting cancer from a CT scan is 0.04%. In case, you know, people were worried about the occasional scan. Or, as the article says,

The absolute risk may be small for any single patient.
 
2009-12-15 07:05:44 PM
T.rex: i'm thinking maybe because there's a legal ramification of transferring these files... you're not allowed to 'compress' them to jpg because it might cause some digital artifact that could be mistaken for a medical anomalie in the patient (or vice versa).

Medical images are stored in a file format called DICOM. They are not just pictures - there is also a lot of metadata like patient name, date of birth, and technical parameters of the scan. The standard defines several algorithms that can be used to compress the pixel data, including lossy and lossless JPEG. Images can be saved in multiple formats, such as a lossless high-resolution version for diagnostic purposes and a lossy low-resolution "preview" series.

/works for a company that develops storage software for medical images
 
2009-12-15 07:07:16 PM
OMFG my lawyer mind is going crazy! Malpractice suits against doctors who recommended CT scans to patients because they didn't want to get sued for malpractice in the first place!!

I am gonna setup a class action claim. If you want in let me know.
 
2009-12-15 07:07:32 PM
Link (new window)

100 reasons global warming can't be caused by man.
 
2009-12-15 07:08:39 PM
You got your cancer in my cancer...
 
2009-12-15 07:14:12 PM
jfarkinB: NonAstrologer: I want to be the first to point out that this is a repeat from a while ago.

That is all.

It's a new report, although old news. You're probably thinking about the one from a month or two ago where they accidentally set the scanner to "broil" instead of "medium high" for stroke scans.


Oh. I DNRTFA. When I saw what it was, I rushed to be first. You know how it is on here. People are so damned quick with the quips and quotes.
 
2009-12-15 07:14:59 PM
twice when i've gone to the doctor complaining about tonsil stones the doctor has done a chest x ray to make sure "i wasn't coughing them out of my chest"--if they took the time to dig around with a curette they could see that the tonsil stones were indeed in the tonsil crypts and not the chest....oh well, i guess i made them some money

/still have tonsil stones
 
2009-12-15 07:16:32 PM
Cancer is the sucks.

My best friend passed away this summer within a month of being diagnosed. She was 44.
My father passed 13 years ago. He was 55.
My uncle (my fathers younger brother) is now entering the terminal stages of cancer. He was diagnosed the same day as my best friend. He is 62.
I am taking over some teaching responsibilities for a co-worker with terminal stages of breast cancer. She is 58.
My mother just began radiation therapy for breast cancer. She is 69.
My 14.5 year old labrador retriever passed away last Thursday. She had metastatic carcinoma.

As a pathologist, I often spend my day diagnosing cancer.....I am soooo tired of this shiat
 
2009-12-15 07:28:16 PM
Ivo Shandor
/works for a company that develops storage software for medical images

Thank you, Ivo. interesting!
 
2009-12-15 07:35:01 PM
eraser8: Vala0128: Looking at brains all day, working with people, and the flexible hours of academia are amazing.

Sounds like the perfect job for a zombie.


I seriously question whether I'm a zombie sometimes.

i621.photobucket.com
I actually have that t-shirt, too :)
 
2009-12-15 07:35:04 PM
Man, with all the dozens of CT scans I've had over the past year or two alone, I'm in big trouble. That and living right near a nuclear power plant, family history of cancer, and a bunch of chronic diseases at 28 (some meds have cancer as a possible side effect), I'm surprised I'm not dead already.

Which probably means I'm indestructible.

/Three Stooges Syndrome
//considered Oversize Novelty Germ as my login
///,..indestructible...
 
2009-12-15 07:39:25 PM
swingerofbirches: /still have tonsil stones

You can use a Water-Pik on the lowest setting to flush them out (stand in front of the bathroom mirror with a small flashlight to see what you're doing).
 
2009-12-15 07:40:55 PM
Ivo Shandor: T.rex: i'm thinking maybe because there's a legal ramification of transferring these files... you're not allowed to 'compress' them to jpg because it might cause some digital artifact that could be mistaken for a medical anomalie in the patient (or vice versa).

Medical images are stored in a file format called DICOM. They are not just pictures - there is also a lot of metadata like patient name, date of birth, and technical parameters of the scan. The standard defines several algorithms that can be used to compress the pixel data, including lossy and lossless JPEG. Images can be saved in multiple formats, such as a lossless high-resolution version for diagnostic purposes and a lossy low-resolution "preview" series.

/works for a company that develops storage software for medical images


ugh, dicom = bane of my existence sometimes. That and the horribly hacked together scripts that I used to process the data...
/not a computer scientist
//most researchers can't afford to pay for a real computer scientist to write happy and pretty solutions to their problems so it's not a very pretty land
///showed some of it to my boytoy (software engineer at microsoft) and he facepalmed quite a few times
 
2009-12-15 07:41:09 PM
Wow...the observer effect in grand display
 
2009-12-15 07:46:51 PM
I have a file full of articles on this subject.
A CT of the heart packs the radiation exposure of 350 mammograms, so if teh boobies didn't already have cancer...
I wonder if people would be in such a rush to have the scans if they had an inkling about the exposure. The test is so quick, it probably doesn't really register how much your parts are getting cooked. There is a reason the tech stands behind a shield, people.

//Ultrasound tech FTW
 
2009-12-15 07:54:15 PM
i257.photobucket.com

What may happen after too many CT scans.
 
2009-12-15 08:09:19 PM
That cancer in your butt has some cancer in its butt.
 
2009-12-15 08:10:38 PM
Touched in the No No Zone: Remind me never to get a CT scan, even if it could save my life.

I don't wants the cancers.


My exhusband had a number of these when he was dying of cancer. Good insurance?; hey, you're paasaroundpatty.
I developed a shellfish allergy after drinking that iodine goo and getting a CT scan. Coincidence I am sure.
 
2009-12-15 08:20:04 PM
playdate: What may happen after too many CT scans.

I can eat doughboy corpses? AWESOME!
 
2009-12-15 08:24:34 PM
It's a combination of not wanting to be sued if something is missed and not knowing the long-term effects. The best part about science is that you can actually publish studies like this and people will rectify the mistakes.
 
2009-12-15 08:35:07 PM
For those of us more familiar with rem (Roentgen Equivalent Man) measures, 1 sievert = 100 rem, so 1 millisievert = 100 mrem.

In past, US government standards for nuclear industry workers was a maximum annual exposure dose of 6 mrem to known radiation sources, as determined by a radiation badge. This was not much, but took into account exposures from other sources. For example, a chest X-Ray would give a person from 5-10 mrem, ordinary background radiation would give you about 300-350 mrem, and one and a half packs of cigarettes daily would give a person about 1300 mrem a year.

So, according to the article, the conversion factors would be:

"2 mSv (200 mrem) for a routine head scan to 31 mSv (3100 mrem) for a multiphase abdomen and pelvis scan."

Doses of radiation less than 100 rem are regarded as "subclinical", but can cause changes in the blood, and can inhibit the immune system about a month after exposure. The assumption that it might cause cancers in the long term is probable, but accurate estimations are difficult.
 
2009-12-15 08:54:24 PM
There IS cure for cancer, you idiots.

/for most of it
 
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