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Heath and Medicine

Incidentaloma: Do You Have One and Is It Serious?

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Do you really need that X-ray, CT scan, or MRI?  Don’t run off to get an imaging study unless it is absolutely necessary to diagnose your medical problem. The concern with rushing off to get imaging when it might not be needed is you risk something known as INCIDENTALOMAS.

Incidentalomas are likely to be found on CT scans.  They are simply a spot that turns out to be nothing more than an internal freckle or variation of normal for YOU.  But, your docs aren’t always sure what the irregularity is so you end up seeing specialists, getting more tests, and maybe a biopsy or surgery.  This leads to worry, lots of expenses, potential complications, and unneeded exposure to radiation.  According to Medscape,

….we know that the chance that an incidentaloma found in any of these exams could represent a lethal carcinoma is < 1%.

P1120004Of course an x-ray could find a life threatening growth that was hiding.  But the odds are not favorable.

For one person whose life might be saved, there are too many others who suffer and may end up losing their life to something that was nothing.

By Kathy

I am a Nurse Practitioner from Rochester, NY presently working in both the inpatient and outpatient hospital psychiatric settings.