Here is part of a Canadian article from the Telegraph-Journal:
The use of CT scans (sometimes called CAT scans) has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 20 years. That’s because they’re painless, noninvasive and super-fast, and they give doctors detailed images of everything from brain injuries and cancers to fractures, kidney stones and ruptured appendixes. The scans are also credited with making exploratory surgery a thing of the past. So it’s not hard to see why Americans and Canadians now get 75 million of them a year.
CT’s dark side? A single scan can deliver 100 to 400 times more radiation than a traditional X-ray. A new National Cancer Institute study estimates that 29,000 cancers and 15,000 cancer deaths (more than the deaths from ovarian cancer) will be triggered by the CT scans done in 2007 alone. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is investigating more than 200 claims of scan-related radiation overdoses in California and elsewhere.
Does this mean you should avoid CT scans? No, don’t swing from scan-a-mania to scan-a-phobia. These tests can be lifesavers, provided you and your doctor use them only when the benefits outweigh the risks.
I recently had a reader and multiple myeloma cancer patient on my other blog, www.MultipleMyelomaBlog.Com, express concern over this very issue. Pattie and I will keep our eyes and ears open for news, pro and con, on the subject of testing risk.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat & Pattie