It was a common enough reason for someone to have a CT scan. The order read, “Abdominal pain, colon cancer resected in January.” It was now March, only two months post-surgery. Yet the patient’s CT scan showed a number of large masses in the liver, consistent with metastatic cancer. I compared the current study to the CT performed before surgery. The liver had looked perfectly normal at that time. "That’s an amazingly ...

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Let’s begin with a quiz question: Patients may be allergic to: A. oxygen B. carbon C. iodine D. none of the above If you answered anything but "D," better keep reading. Consider this scenario: If a patient is allergic to penicillin, you would document “penicillin” in the medical records. It would never occur to you to list “antibiotics” as an allergy, and you certainly would not call it a “carbon” allergy for slang, just because penicillin contains ...

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