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Body scan caught his malignancy in time

September 15, 2003

Regarding "Peace of Mind -- but at a Price" (Sept. 1): Let me add my voice to the 1% who have been given a new lease on life from having a body scan. I am a healthy 60-year-old male who is in excellent health and who rides a bicycle regularly.

In June 2002, my wife and I both had body (torso) scans done to provide part of a base line on our medical health. My wife came out OK. I got a call from the doctor who read the scan. He said he saw a mass on my right kidney. The follow-up work further pointed to a cancerous mass. On Aug. 10, I had my right kidney removed; inside was a totally encapsulated cancerous tumor. It's now been a year, and I feel like a poster child for body scans.

I believe that body scan has saved my life. I am proud to be in that 1%.

Raymond Bragg

Fontana

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I find it ironic that the sidebar to the whole body scan article advises, "Don't skip your annual checkup." Numerous recent studies have shown that for those not at unusual risk (smokers, family history for cancer or cardiovascular disease), an annual checkup is not of value or economically defensible.

Unfortunately, the "annual physical" concept is so thoroughly ingrained in both physicians and patients that it becomes almost reflexive to say, "Don't skip your annual checkup."

Brian Weiss

Pasadena

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