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The Full Picture: Can you benefit from a body scan?

Apr 27, 2016 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Lisa J. Gotto

The marriage of technology and medicine can do amazing things. It’s comforting to know that when you’re really hurting inside that there are diagnostic tools at a physician’s disposal that will hopefully find what is wrong and have you feeling better as soon as possible. From standard X-ray technology to a tiny ingestible camera the size of a horse pill, modern medicine has been able to get a good look at our internal workings and make assessments and prognoses based on their findings.

So it was only a matter of time until all the technology that we have access to came together to provide one comprehensive overview of the state of our health. But does the advent of body scan technology provide a huge step forward for our overall health, or do we need a chunk of years to assess the technology’s reliability versus its downsides?

The Pros: Diagnostic imaging companies claim that full body scans can detect myriad diseases including heart, lung, musculoskeletal, endocrine, and prostate and ovarian disease as well as tumors, aneurysms, osteoporosis, hernias, and kidney and gall stones.

The Cons: This technology is not yet feasible for most traditional practitioners due to its cost. So if you do not receive a script from your physician and this is something you are really interested in having done, you can consult a diagnostic imaging company and you will need to cover the cost. Quoted rates online range anywhere from $750 to $1,500. Also, preferred health information sources like WebMd warn that false positive readings associated with whole body scans could have you running for unnecessary further testing or biopsies, since the scan is just an identification tool, not a treatment tool.

Would you pay out-of-pocket for a whole body scan? Let us know. Email us at

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