NU Online News Service, Sept. 4, 12:05 p.m. – American Medical News, Chicago, is reporting that “full-body” scans are becoming a popular elecltive procedure.

Many patients are paying $800 to $1,000 for three-dimension “computed tomography” X-ray scans of their entire bodies, in an effort to find tumors, aneurysms and other problems before they begin to cause symptoms.

The doctors who set up the scanning clinics told American Medical News, a newspaper published by the American Medical Association, Chicago, that full-body scans make just as much sense as mammograms.

The scans could save lives and cut costs by catching problems early, proponents said.

Critics s?id the scans could lead to unnecessary follow-up tests and procedures.

Although patients usually pay for the full-body scans themselves, private health insurers usually pay all or part of the cost of the follow-up tests, the critics said.

The full text of the article is available on the American Medical News Web site, at http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/hlsa0903.htm