Friday, December 24, 2010

CT Scans and Radiation

Americans are getting more CAT scans than ever, an estimated 62 million a year. That's up from about 3 million in 1980. In a review, doctors discussed the possible consequences of what this increase could be. They found that there are no definitive studies to tell us whether CT scans increase the risk of cancer, but doctors estimate that radiation from two to three CAT scans is enough to measurably increase the cancer risk. In fact, researchers estimate that up to two percent of cancers could be attributed to CAT scans today. Now, the risk to any one individual is small, you should know that, and it's likely outweighed by the need to have the scan. Especially when it's being used to diagnose an illness, I think it's a great idea, but CT screening may not prove beneficial to the population as a whole. Obviously, the researchers at Columbia University think this should be looked at.

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