I need to let you know, to prepare yourself should it occur – when your doctor starts with that phrase ‘By the Way..’ or ‘And also..’

You may have had or know someone who had a medical test for looking for one thing but found ‘an incidental finding’. Doctors relay the information in many ways but bottom line ‘we were looking for such and such but also found …..’

The term we affectionately use (pretty sad) is ‘incidentalomas’.

In an analysis of previous studies (BMJ, online June 18), showed unexpected findings including the number of ‘incidentals’ dependent of which parts of the body were scanned.

For example, incidentalomas happened:

just 2% of the time with certain whole-body PET scans and with chest computed tomography (CT)
45% of the time in the throat, abdomen, spine, or heart. CT colonoscopy
22% of the time a brain MRIs may find incidentalomas in the brain

Today’s imaging devices are revealing smaller and smaller structures then even last year. Most incidentals are harmless but earlier recognition of cancers was noted especially imaging of the brain and chest done in the emergency room (ER).