What People Don't Know About CT Scans

    CT scans can be life-saving when diagnosing cancer, internal bleeding, blood clots, broken bones and other problems. But what many people don't realize is the greater the number of CT scans, the greater the risk of developing cancer. A report from the University of California estimates that CT scans will be the cause 14,500 cases of cancer in the future.
   To find out how much people know about CT scans, researchers interviewed 235 patients who were scheduled for a non-emergency CT scan. It's shocking that one-third did not understand that their body was being exposed to radiation. Those that were aware grossly underestimated the exposure. Researchers then asked what the patients were thinking about before the procedure was done. The majority replied they were more concerned about getting their parking tickets validated than possible radiation effects, This was not a very encouraging survey.
   The brutal fact is that a single CT scan exposes patients to the same amount of radiation as 500 X-rays of the lungs, 1,000 more than dental X-rays or bone mineral tests. So always ask your doctor if the CT scan is needed and if so, could an MRI or ultrasound which does not subject patients to radiation, provide the same result. It'a also wise to keep a record of your own radiation history.
   Remember that CT scans are the biggest source of radiation of all imaging technologies.  And every year about 10 percent of North Americans are scanned!