In the words of the cantankerous Dr. Gregory House of TV fame, CT calcium scan screening tests are
“…useless because you could probably scan every one of us and find 50 doo-dads that look like tumours”.
That’s not quite what those who are promoting these screening scans tell us. They tell us that we really should be forking over $600-$3,000 to them in order to get a CT (computed tomography) calcium scan to screen for possible disease.
I’ve been seeing more and more ads marketing full-body or heart screening scan services at for-profit clinics, shopping malls, church basements, and even in tractor trailers hauling imaging machines. One ad for a CT heart screening scan promised that it can:
“…detect calcium deposits (or the hardening of plaque) in the arteries of the heart. This is useful information if determined early, prior to a heart attack. With this knowledge, a person may be empowered to change his or her lifestyle and slow the progression of heart disease or even prevent a heart attack.”
“May be empowered to change”? Why would you have to spend $600 – $3,000 to “empower” yourself to start improving your lifestyle? Here’s a cheaper alternative: send me 50 bucks now and I’ll empower you right upside the head to quit smoking, eat more veggies, and do more exercise from this day forward.