Medic warns of risks of body scan health checks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 December, 2010, 12:00am

Patients who opt for quick operations to remove tumours that are detected during body scans could be risking their lives, a medical expert has warned.

The procedures are becoming increasingly popular, especially on the mainland, where they are cheaper.

However, patients have been warned that such operations should not be undertaken without a full medical assessment.

Particularly at risk are patients that have tumours of the adrenal gland, because these are often found incidentally when scanning for other conditions.

In some such cases the risk of death for such patients could be as high as 50 per cent.

'More and more people are having radio-imaging checks, even though, from a medical viewpoint, they are unnecessary,' said Dr Ronald Ching Wan Ma, associate professor of Chinese University's Medicine and Therapeutics Department

'The worst thing that a patient who has discovered an abnormal medical condition can do is to have an operation without a comprehensive medical assessment.'

Health checks that include procedures such as ultrasound, computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are becoming increasingly popular.

This means many diseases that previously had a low discovery rate are much more likely to be found.

'It is of utmost importance for patients to have a comprehensive medical assessment to understand the risks involved in undergoing any medical operations for their specific condition,' Ching said.