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    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Radiation overexposure from CT scans may be more widespread than previously estimated.

    The problem of too much radiation during CT scans may be more widespread than anyone thought." In fact, "new research...found a wide variation in radiation dose for the most common CT scan like abdomen, pelvis, and chest. A survey of four hospitals found some patients received 13 times more radiation than others for the same type of scan." "Depending on the part of the body being scanned, each CT exposes a patient to an amount of radiation equal to between 30 and 440 chest X-rays." But, in a separate study, "researchers calculated that 72 million CT scans are performed in this country a year and concluded that could lead to 29,000 excess cancers and 15,000 excess deaths a year in the future." In that study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers at the National Cancer Institute "found that people may be exposed to up to four times as much radiation as estimated by earlier studies.

    Meanwhile, the second study, appearing in the same journal, of over 1,000 patients at four hospitals, showed that one woman out of 270 and one man out of 600 would suffer from cancer after undergoing a single heart scan at age 40. Researchers noted that the differences in radiation doses may be due to a lack of standardized settings and disparities in technology use.

    Ian accompanying editorial, it was noted that "the articles...make clear that there is far more radiation from medical CT scans than has been recognized previously because even many otherwise healthy patients are being subjected to the radiation...because emergency [departments] are often sending patients to the CT scanner before they see a doctor."

    The authors predicted that lung cancer will be the most common radiation-related cancer followed by colon cancer and leukemia." For its part, the FDA "issued interim regulations requiring closer monitoring of CT scans after more than 250 cases of exposure to excess radiation were reported since October."

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice. For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

    Deepen your understanding of "medical malpractice"...

    For more health info and links visit the author's web site

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