Whole body CT. Full body MRI. Should you have it to screen for cancer? “Cancer screening” by full body MRI and full body CT is marketed to patients. Should I do whole body MRI? Will whole body CT relieve my worries about cancer in my body? Leading CT and MRI radiologist from Boston tells the truth about whole body CT and whole body MRI scans.
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Whole body CT. Whole body MRI. Should you have it? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. The truth about whole-body scans is very low probability of finding important disease. Video interview with leading expert in radiology, CT and MRI specialist. Full-body CT Scan – what you need to know is that dose of radiation exposure is a risk in itself. Is screening by whole body SC scan worthwhile? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Not, according to leading radiology expert and professional associations. Why MRI Should replace CT for whole body screening? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Because MRI does not involve radiation. But whole body MRI screening is not recommended and does not find cancer in time. Medical Second Opinion on MRI findings ensures MRI interpretation is correct and meaningful. Medical Second Opinion also helps to choose the best treatment strategy for cancer diagnosed by MRI or CT scan. Seek medical Second Opinion on cancer and be confident that your treatment is the best. Whole body preventative screening MRI is a waste of time and money in most circumstances. When is a whole body CT scan needed? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Usually in multiple trauma patients to assess hidden injuries, especially head trauma. Computerized body scanning by demand is not a good idea. Whole body MRI, whole body CT cancer screening. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Perhaps this conversation on screening can bring us to the popular topic. Which is screening by whole body MRI or whole body CT. Many patients are interested in that, especially for cancer screening. What do you think of validity and applicability of these methods for the general screening for disease? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. screening for cancer by whole body CT and whole body MRI. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. CT and MRI specialist, Tufts Medical Center. I feel very strongly that there is very little if any role for MRI or CT screening. My opinion is also shared by important national organizations, for example the American College of Radiology. Screening CT is probably better than screening MRI. There are variety of reasons for it. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. CT is much faster. CT is also probably more accurate. But it does have significant radiation exposure especially scanning the whole body. So you have to weigh the risk of the radiation exposure with what the benefits are going to be. Especially if you are going to do screening CT more than once. And it turns out that there is very little evidence that CT use for screening can detect cancer early enough, in enough patients, to make any clinical difference. And looking for cancer is the primary reason to do screening CT. So, it does not help to find cancer early. On the other hand, screening CT does find a lot of small lesions. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. We call them “ditzels” in radiology. So CT can find a lot of small lesions that the scan cannot tell whether they are cancer or not. But the vast, vast majority of these – 99% plus percent of them – are benign lesions. So screening CT creates a lot of anxiety for patients. After first CT there is usually a lot of additional imaging. There are follow-up CT scans, more radiation exposure. There are potentially invasive procedures to evaluate these small lesions. All this has no benefit. And CT has never been shown to be successful at detecting any kind of cancer early enough to be worth doing it. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. And what about whole body MRI? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Full body MRI is marketed directly to consumers to screen for cancer. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. CT and MRI specialist, Tufts Medical Center. Whole-body MRI. It is difficult to even understand what that means conceptually. Because an MRI of the brain or MRI of the liver or MRI of the heart is a lot of different kinds of imaging. So MRI is not one kind of scan. It is several scans put together to evaluate an organ. So those scans can take half an hour to an hour to do to evaluate the brain. So you can imagine trying to evaluate the whole body with that kind of sophisticated MRI scan. It would be impossible to do. It will take hours. And no patient could tolerate the time in the tight space of the MRI scanner. And it would be inordinately expensive also. So this is what patients (and clinics) do who arrange screening MRIs. They do abbreviated scans, shortened scans, with maybe just one sequence for all these parts the body. And the problem with that is any one sequence is not going to be that accurate at detecting cancer or other serious problem. Again we have the same problem that we talked about with screening CT. There is no evidence that screening MRI can detect cancers at a small enough stage or with enough frequency to help anybody. There is zero evidence that screening with CT or MRI prevents death. But similarly to CT we have the same problem. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. We will still find lots of little things that we can’t fully evaluate. Because they are so small. That will create additional imaging. That will create anxiety. It may create the need for additional invasive evaluation. And all for no benefit. So the same risk-benefit ratio applies to both screening CT (whole body CT) and screening MRI (whole body MRI). Consensus of scholarly opinion, and my opinion as well, is that screening CT or screening MRI is not beneficial for patients to undergo screening CT or MRI scan. The only kind in medical imaging that has proven efficacy in preventing mortality is breast mammography. Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, the swelling of the abdominal artery, is also beneficial. Those are the only two imaging tests that have ever been shown to be effective at preventing death. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. This is very important for patients to know. Because the best screening remains a regular and thorough clinical examinations by the primary care doctor. Also using some serum profile blood tests, some traditional screening methods, could be useful. People should do that first instead of rushing to the high technology without any proven medical benefits. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. Exactly. It is very important to know. Whole body CT. Whole body MRI. Should you have it? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Video interview with leading expert in radiology, CT and MRI specialist. Pros and cons of full body scan? Dr. Anton Titov, MD.