Friday, 3 January 2014

China's medical experts warn about marketing of regular CT scan check-ups

by Michael Woodhead
Medical experts have warned Chinese consumers to reject the marketing hype for the latest craze of having six monthly health check-ups using PET-CT scanners.
Many medical clinics are "jumping on the bandwagon" and using advertising to promote the inappropriate and dangerous use of high end scanners, say radiotherapy specialists at leading hospitals.
Adverts urge consumers to have six monthly CT scans, claiming the advanced technology will detect fast-growing tumours that would escape detection by other health checks or from symptoms alone, accordingto a report in the People's Daily.
However, Dr Lin Hongwei, a cancer specialist at Beijing's Qinhua University Changgeng Hospital said the promotion of PET-CT scan was inappropriate and potentially harmful. He said PET-CT scans delivered a high dose of radiation and should only be used in monitoring existing tumours and for detetion of certain difficult tumours. There was no role for CT scanning in screening of the general population, and anyusch ue was in contravention of current guidelines, he warned.
"The use of expensive PET-CT scans for regular check ups is inappropriate, it is a waste of resources and also can do harm to the patient," he said.

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