Medical Radiation Exposure Quadrupled

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:38 PM by Dr. Greathouse

*Imaging Boom Raised Radiation Exposures*
By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: June 12, 2012

Advanced diagnostic imaging has increased substantially over the past 15
years, bringing an increase in radiation exposure, researchers found.

CT imaging roughly tripled and MRI use nearly quadrupled from 1996 to
2010 across  the six large integrated health systems studied by Rebecca
Smith-Bindman, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues.

How Dangerous Are CT Scans?

Some physicians are raising concerns about the safety of such procedures — most notably, an increase in cancer risk. A CT scan packs a mega-dose of radiation — as much as 500 times that of a conventional X-ray. If your doctor orders a CT scan for you or your child, should you think twice? Absolutely, say researchers behind two recent studies that sound the alarm about the increased cancer risk associated with multiple CT scans.

“Our focus is to bring awareness to the fact that people are getting large doses of radiation and it’s not innocuous,” says Timothy Bullard, the study’s lead author and chief medical officer at Orlando Regional Medical Center. “We want people to use the technology appropriately.”

“Appropriate” is the key word — especially since a review study published last November in the New England Journal of Medicine determined that as many as one-third of all CT scans performed in the United States are unnecessary.

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