LONDON, December 18 /PRNewswire/ --

- " CT Screening has Value for Predicting Cardiovascular Risk and Colon Cancer"

Lifescan - the UK's largest provider of private, organ targeted CT screening - welcomes the statement published in the latest Report from COMARE that with reference to radiation exposure "cancer risk has not been demonstrated by epidemiological studies at doses below 100 mSv". The maximum radiation exposure when screening lung, colon and heart using the Lifescan low-dose MDCT protocols is less than 10mSv. This is also significantly under the maximum annual occupational dose of 20 mSv.

In other words this report suggests that low dosage CT scanning is not considered to carry significant risk.

Lifescan does not offer full body screening.

The Report acknowledges that CT scanning of the asymptomatic individual may provide benefits to that person. In particular, it states that cardiac CT scanning has been shown to have value for predicting cardiovascular risk and, similarly, CT colonography has the potential to detect small lesions.

Says Dr John Giles, Consultant Radiologist, Conquest Hospital, and Clinical Director, Lifescan says:

"We confidently estimate that we have saved the lives of over 2000 people who were identified with a potential life-threatening disease and able to receive early and more effective treatment. "

Lifescan welcomes COMARE's recommendation of a review of regulation, and looks forward to working in close consultation with the appropriate body to ensure that changes to regulation are appropriate, realistic and generate a real benefit to patient safety.

Lifescan concurs with the Report's recommendation that clients should be provided with comprehensive information regarding dose and risk of the CT scan, as well as rates of false negative and false positive findings. Lifescan already provides such comprehensive information to patients.

Lifescan questions concerns about cost impact to the NHS. The Report frequently raises the possible burden to the NHS of private scans without any supporting evidence. Over 70% of Lifescan patients are believed to have private health insurance. More importantly these concerns are highly speculative and we urge Government to examine the cost benefit of early diagnosis of life-threatening diseases.

Lifescan equally supports the proposal that well developed and confidential mechanisms need to be developed for integrating examination results into an established care pathway. Lifescan will work closely with the NHS that scans and data relating to any individual should be in formats consistent with national NHS IT programmes.

Lifescan agrees that any individual displaying symptoms and requesting a CT scan from a commercial service should not be scanned and should be referred back to their GP. However, cogniscant of pressures on NHS resources, Lifescan believes that where a patient is advised or concerned about a serious delay before scanning can be undertaken on the NHS, the patient's right to opt for private treatment should be respected.

Lifescan disagrees with certain aspects of the Report regarding the benefits of lung cancer screening but we look forward to the opportunity of further debate on publication of the IELCAP study.

Notes for Editors

Lifescan was established in 2003. Lifescan has screened over 40,000 individuals, including over 500 members of the medical profession. It is the recognized specialist in CT cardiac and colon scanning. It has 24 specialist Consultant Radiologists attached to its seven centers around the UK.

Dr John Giles, co-founder and Clinical Director of Lifescan is also a Senior Consultant Radiologist at the Conquest Hospital, Hastings. He is a recognized specialist in cardiac imaging.

We confidently estimate that we have saved the lives of over 2000 people who were identified with a life-threatening disease and able to receive early and more effective treatment.

COMARE's finding that If 100,000 people undergo a CT scan every 5 years from age 40 to 70 years, receiving an effective dose of 10 mSv from each scan, then the estimated impact is approximately 240 fatalities or less than .2%. This figure contradicts the opinion of Professor Wald publicised last week.

For more information or to arrange interview with Lifescan patients and medical experts in the field, please contact Lisa ter Haar,, Mobile: +44-(0)7973-819-395