A candid response to criticism in the media.
If you were to type “Life Line Screening” into a search bar, you would likely see a few articles pop up below our official website. You might see articles with titles like “Is Life Line Screening Safe?” or “Life Line Screening: is it worth it?” A little bit of research will tell you that there is quite a bit of division in the medical community about whether preventative screenings like the ones we offer are necessary, or even dangerous. While we respect the opinion of all medical professionals, we’d like to take a few minutes to answer our critics and give you confidence that if you want to take control of your health, Life Line Screening is a smart way to do so.
This question is at the center of the debate on cardiovascular screenings. The argument against preventative screenings is mainly centered around the possibility of false positives. Specifically when talking about screenings, a false positive is when an abnormality is found but will never progress into something harmful. If a screening finds a false positive, some argue that people are more likely to go on and get more invasive testing done with their doctor or even surgery that might have been unnecessary.
At Life Line Screening, our stance on this is simple: your doctor knows you best. Our technicians are excellent at performing effective, noninvasive screenings and getting the most accurate results possible. If we find anything unusual, it is then up to you and your doctor to discuss a treatment plan, if you choose to do anything at all. In some cases, simply keeping a watchful eye on the issue is the best course of action. This is exactly why many of our clients come back each year for an annual screening. However, you can’t keep an eye on something you don’t know you have. We are firm believers that having knowledge about any health issue, even a potential one, is a good thing.
We aren’t alone in this belief, either. “Undergoing preventative cardiovascular screenings is basically getting a headstart against arguably the worst health condition a person can have,” says Jolene Caufield of Healthy Howard.
She continues, “There is nothing a person can lose by subjecting herself to a preventative screening. These screenings give you a clearer picture of your future health. Even if you didn’t find anything, it will compel you to re-evaluate your daily health habits and challenge you to fully redefine your life. In my view, preventative cardiovascular screenings yield better health awareness in people who underwent the procedure than harm.”
There are some publications out there that have said our claims of preventative screenings being life-saving are overblown. This is simply untrue, and we have one of the best vascular surgeons in the country to back that up. Dr. Andy Manganaro is the Medical Director of Life Line Screening, and he worked as a vascular surgeon for over 30 years.
He isn’t shy about the value of preventative screenings, either. For example, Dr. Manganaro would often be called into the ER to treat someone who had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm that, had it been caught early, would have been treatable.
“Had they known they had the aneurysm a week before, we could have fixed it with very little risk to them,” he says. “And they would have been going home instead of to the morgue.”
We have countless stories of people who came in for a screening not believing anything to be wrong and walked out with information that very well could have prevented them from suffering a medical disaster. This isn’t just true of our cardiovascular screenings. Our colorectal cancer screening, chronic kidney disease, and osteoporosis screenings have all caught potential problems before they progressed into more dangerous territory.
We understand the slight frustration that can come with paying for a preventative screening and getting a normal result back. It feels like you might have wasted your money on something you didn’t need. However, our screenings are much more in-depth than just giving you the medical equivalent of a Pass/Fail grade. Our technicians take a lot of pride in showing and explaining your results so that you leave with valuable knowledge about your health you can actually use.
In the unfortunate event that we find something abnormal, catching it early is much more likely to save you money in the long run. Medical procedures can be very expensive, even with insurance.
According to the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General, as much as $3.7 billion in medical costs could be saved annually in the U.S. if preventative screenings increased by 90 percent. Taking a look at the big picture, this tells us the preventative screenings that are happening are working as intended.
Another benefit of getting a preventative screening is it gives you something tangible to see when discussing your health and any lifestyle changes you might need to make to improve it. A less-than-perfect test result can be the inspiration people need to finally start kicking bad habits and embracing healthier ones.
“Yes, you can tell people, in general, lose weight, stop smoking, exercise, lead a healthy lifestyle. But most often it goes in one ear and out the other,” Dr. Manganaro says. “On the other hand, though, if you show someone a picture of their carotid artery filled with plaque as compared to a normal carotid artery, they’re much more likely to throw out their Lucky Strikes on the way out the door.”
We believe in what we do and have seen the appreciation of people who have caught a health risk before it turned serious. However, this is ultimately a decision you need to make for yourself. No matter what you decide to do, you can now at least do it with a clearer picture about the benefits of preventative screenings and how seriously we take your health.
To find a Life Line Screening near you, just follow the link below.
Life Line Screening