CT scans and x-rays

If you plan to live to a ripe old age you might want to limit the amount of medical radiation you willingly embrace. How much radiation are you getting and how much is likely to make you sick or sicker?  Just to give you some idea, a CT (computed tomography) scan gives you a radiation dose equivalent to around 600 chest x-rays.

According to Dr Ray Sahelian M.D. “every year many patients undergo unnecessary computed tomography (CT) scans that are not indicated”. Seems that if you have a cold you routinely get given antibiotics and it’s more than likely that with chest pains you get a CT scan.  According to Dr Andrew J. Einstein of Columbia University, this is appropriate treatment for high risk patients actually presenting with chest pain, but is not valuable for people who are not at high risk and have no symptoms.  “We don’t think it should be used for screening purposes.”

What’s more,  according to a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, some clinics need to be more careful about radiation levels used.  In some cases they are exposing patients to up to 6 times the necessary amount of radiation.

Learn more about the effects of medical radiation here.


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