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Fantastika
26-10-2007, 20:26
Anybody know anything about "full-body scan" in Moscow (or elsewhere)? I got spam advertising this in Moscow, but it is popular in US, too. So far, it is not regulated by US government, so price is not high, but probably much lower here...

ridcully
26-10-2007, 21:15
This seems like a good idea, if the price is right and it's done with good equipment. But price and decent equipment aside there are other issues:

1. The scans need interpreting carefully, which is a job requiring considerable expertise. Does the scanning company have this? How do you know?
2. Even if the interpretation is done carefully it's absolutely inevitable that there will be false positives and false negatives from the scans. Maybe not YOUR scan, THIS TIME - but there will be wrong results and interpretations.
False positive - the scan is followed up by other tests, some possibly invasive. These will all have risks associated with them, and there will also be a risk associated with the stress of you thinking (wrongly) that you have something wrong with you. So false positives are at best neutral (if you don't worry AT ALL and if the follow-up tests have NO RISKS AT ALL attached to them), but much more likely to be negative.
False negative - you're told it's OK when it's not. This is effectively the same as not having the scan, and waiting until you get some symptom to make you consult a doctor. But the problem is, the "all clear" message may make you falsely reassured, so you don't go to the doctor, even when you get a symptom. So this is another potential negative situation.
3. The risks of the scan itself - depending on the method used - may be non-trivial. If it's an MRI scan, fair enough, there is very little risk from a large magnetic field and radio waves. But if it's a CT scan (using X-rays) that's very different.

The whole-body scan thing depends on the argument that this is the way to identify an illness ahead of time. But it can be argued that you'd be better off spending your money on a healthier diet, membership of a gym or whatever, and ensuring that you're aware of your own body (including your genetic inheritance - ie parent with high blood pressure means you should monitor your own BP). I'd put my money after that rather than whole-body scans!

Fantastika
26-10-2007, 21:58
This seems like a good idea, if the price is right and it's done with good equipment. But price and decent equipment aside there are other issues:

1. The scans need interpreting carefully, which is a job requiring considerable expertise. Does the scanning company have this? How do you know?
2. Even if the interpretation is done carefully it's absolutely inevitable that there will be false positives and false negatives from the scans. Maybe not YOUR scan, THIS TIME - but there will be wrong results and interpretations.

.....

Good advice.

I am only looking for something really big, perhaps grapefruit growing inside me :)


3. The risks of the scan itself - depending on the method used - may be non-trivial. If it's an MRI scan, fair enough, there is very little risk from a large magnetic field and radio waves. But if it's a CT scan (using X-rays) that's very different.


The scan is done with "computed tomography (CT), also called computerized axial tomography (CAT)."

May be dangerous because of possible overexposure to X-rays?

Not that I trust hospital here. When I arrived here I took long walk (after not exercising for 3 months) and my knee "popped." Luckily I was next to apoteka and hobbled there and got crutches (I was staying on fifth floor of hotel at the time). :( One of the doctors at the hospital recommended surgery, but my doctor friend looked at reports, and said it was nothing....turned out to be just another Baker's cyst (the second time for me), and I was walking fine in a week... :)

ridcully
26-10-2007, 22:15
.....
The scan is done with "computed tomography (CT), also called computerized axial tomography (CAT)."

May be dangerous because of possible overexposure to X-rays?


Yes, that's exactly the point! If you've got nothing wrong with you, the risk/benefit analysis is obviously awful for this kind of scan. And if you have one done regularly ... it's much worse. But what else do you do in your life? I fly regularly - so my exposure to ionising radiation is greatly increased. If you ride horses, then that's a non-trivial risk. And don't get me started on the risks associated with driving round the Garden Ring!!!


Not that I trust hospital here. When I arrived here I took long walk (after not exercising for 3 months) and my knee "popped." Luckily I was next to apoteka and hobbled there and got crutches (I was staying on fifth floor of hotel at the time). One of the doctors at the hospital recommended surgery, but my doctor friend looked at reports, and said it was nothing....turned out to be just another Baker's cyst (the second time for me), and I was walking fine in a week...

It's always difficult to know about medicine in other countries. And easy for me (for example) to think that if I wanted anything major done, I'd go back to the UK and see my good friend who is also my GP. My Russian g/f is horrified at the idea of a GP - and says she wants to be able to go straight to an expert. There's something in this of course - so much of medical treatment is psychosomatic that it must be important how confident you are about the people treating you. (Confirmed by medical studies.)

Fantastika
26-10-2007, 22:53
Yes, that's exactly the point! If you've got nothing wrong with you, the risk/benefit analysis is obviously awful for this kind of scan. And if you have one done regularly ... it's much worse. But what else do you do in your life? I fly regularly - so my exposure to ionising radiation is greatly increased. If you ride horses, then that's a non-trivial risk. And don't get me started on the risks associated with driving round the Garden Ring!!!


Yes, when I was in hospital (after some tree attacked my car) there were 2 young ladies that had been squashed by horses...


psychosomatic that it must be important how confident you are about the people treating you. (Confirmed by medical studies.)

I totally agree, how many people just think they're not doing as well as they really are...

I'm a pedestrian, that's pretty dangerous...when I came back to Russia, i ran into (not with car!) my friend, but she now has a limp. Hit and run. Same for my Russian teacher's mother...At 2 AM I saw a drunk laying in the road, moaning and clutching his leg...

Actually I shouldn't complain... cops here are cracking down. Now the cars will stop for you if you are crossing the street...50% of the time - which 50%? You should take the chance...

ridcully
26-10-2007, 23:06
Actually I shouldn't complain... cops here are cracking down. Now the cars will stop for you if you are crossing the street...50% of the time - which 50%? You should take the chance...

I don't mind crossing most streets, I'm fit and can run pretty fast! But when I see people crossing Garden Ring, 8 lanes of traffic ... :eek: