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Reasons to be cautious about the new spiral CT scans

Apr 23, 2015 | Failure to Diagnose

Heavy smokers in New York may be affected by a recent change in Medicaid rules. The change states that those between the age of 55 and 77 and have smoked a pack a day for 30 years are qualified for a yearly spiral CT scan. This scan is very sensitive and has the ability to detect small tumors and cancers that might have been missed previously.

However, certain medical experts are cautioning against unrestrained use of this test, citing concerns about false positives and unnecessary interventions. Although the spiral CT scan may be able to reveal more tumors, it can also reveal growths that are not dangerous.

The doctors are concerned that finding these issues encourages practitioners to intervene in cases where they should not. One physician suggested that out of 1,000 patients who receive the test, only 3.5 lives are saved while 233 receive false positives. The experts point to the dangers of further intervention and note the risks to the patient that come from additional testing and unnecessary treatment.

Even though the reasons for being suspicious of a large rollout of spiral CT scans may be justified, the consequences of a delayed diagnosis can be immense. An undetected malignant tumor may affect the health and economic well-being of the patient. Those who have found themselves injured by a cancer that was not properly diagnosed may choose to file a medical malpractice suit and seek compensation. An attorney may be able to provide advice and representation in such circumstances.