X-Rays, CT Scans Should Not Be Used Indiscriminately

X-rays there’s no doubt can be extremely useful when properly applied on conditions like blocked coronary arteries, bad head injuries, a bone break and chest x-ray.

On the other hand, x-rays can raise the risk of cancer if use indiscriminately without asking the patient when his last x-ray was done.

Patients therefore are encouraged to ask critical questions before they undergo an x-ray. Patients can do something about it by asking their doctor to explain the necessity and the risks of an x-ray examination.

X-rays produced ionized radiation which also occurs in nature. The effective dose that a human is exposed to is represented by millisievert, a measure of radiation. The average natural exposure amounts to about 2.1 millisievert per year according to Radiation Protection Bureau of Germany.

By comparison, a typical patient who undergoes a CT scan (computed tomography or CAT scan) of their head receives an effective dose of 2 or 4 millisievert. While an x-ray exposes the patient to .03 to .01 millisievert this does not mean that patient should take x-ray lightly.

Every exposure means there is radiation and there is no bottom line under which damage can be ruled out. The use of CT scan is purely for health check in the absence of clinical symptoms or high risk factors would be completely incorrect.

Also, when a patient has a serious illness they should ask critical questions because too often patient are carelessly transferred to radiology and indiscriminately x-ray is used too frequently for diagnostic convenience.

It is important to let the doctor know about earlier similar examinations and to bring the images to their attention and appointment if possible. Moreover, patients should have their doctor issue them a record of their x-rays for their future reference.

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