Free mobile scan is a waste of precious resources

In response to the Wednesday article, “Mobile clinic offering free brain scans for Las Vegas locals”:

One of my professors taught that the “the diagnostic armamentarium should be well aimed before it is fired.” The article made it sound as if the primary purpose of the mobile scan is to pick up early brain tumors that would be curable but would otherwise go undiagnosed until it was too late to cure.

Is that a realistic expectation of the scan? And is that really why the scans are being offered?

About 17,000 adults are diagnosed with primary brain tumors each year. Many of these may be non-lethal. Many are not curable no matter how early they are found. The majority of tumors in the brain are metastatic, meaning the primary tumor is somewhere else in the body and has spread to the brain. Hence, treating the tumors found in the brain would not effect a cure.

An MRI scan done in eight minutes will be low resolution with slices that are fairly wide apart. That means smaller, more treatable tumors are more likely to be missed. It is clear that the chances of diagnosing a curable, but potentially lethal, primary brain tumor by screening random asymptomatic adults with this type of scan is so small that it should be considered a waste of an important resource (the mobile MRI scanner).

The article quotes Dr. Philip E. Stieg as suggesting that people with unexplained neurologic symptoms such as vision loss or paralysis receive a scan. I would respectfully disagree.

Such symptoms are important and should be referred to a neurologist so that appropriate diagnostic testing can be ordered.

The free MRI scan being offered on Las Vegas Boulevard may be considered a “well aimed” diagnostic test only if it is being done as part of a research study. But then it should be sold as such and not sold as an appropriate screening test for brain tumors for the general public.

Stanley Cohen, M.D.


Ride sharing

The Great Summer of Uber 2016 is about to commence. For the first time in Vegas, history ride sharing services Uber and Lyft will have an entire summer to fine-tune their totally legal business.

What does this mean? It means that thousands of college and possibly even high school kids, off-work teachers and more will be looking for part-time employment.

Before September arrives, Uber officials may prove their prophecy of being the future of ride sharing, as millions of students will use the opportunity to work two or three hours a day, perhaps just enough to buy the day’s pizza and beer.

Will the cab business survive? Only if they allow drivers to own and lease and not be forced to pay taxes on metered rates when they are flat-rating less than the meter.

Gil Lay

Las Vegas

Cowardly vote

I am the mom of an active-duty service member who has been deployed five times since 2000. Barack Obama and Congress have decimated our military. They have cut pay and pensions, reduced forces and increased long lines and waiting periods for military members and veterans to receive health care. Equipment and maintenance are have been affected.

No Democrat can be trusted to change this.

Donald Trump talks about wanting to help our military every time I’ve heard him. Yet, our Republican senator, Dean Heller, has said that he will not support Mr. Trump.

To use the absurd and cowardly “None of These Candidates” option is irresponsible and deliberately aids the election of a Democrat.

I will vote for hope and especially for our American military.

Michelle Duncan

Las Vegas

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