That’s the alarming concern raised by of one of the nation’s top cardiologists, Chauncey Crandall, M.D., who says that high-dose radiation imaging is being used far too frequently, Newsmax Health reports. Radiation from CT scans, X-rays, and other tests has been proven to increase cancer risk. The more radiation a patient receives, the greater the person’s cancer risk.
In decades past, high-dose radiation diagnostic tests were reserved for serious health conditions. No more, says Dr. Crandall.
The danger from diagnostic radiation is cumulative. So when CT scans are performed along with other radiation-emitting tests such as dental X-rays, chest X-rays, mammography, bone density testing, and others, the radiation exposure can be enormous, and it can cause a person’s cancer risk to skyrocket.
“The problem with these tests is that they all emit ionizing radiation, the type that can damage DNA and has been linked to the development of cancer over time,” says Dr. Crandall.
Dr. Crandall recommends asking your doctor these questions before undergoing a CT scan or other type of test that uses radiation:
Is this test necessary? What will you learn about my medical condition from this test that you could not find out by other means?
Are you ordering this test in accordance with the recommendations established by the leading clinical guidelines?
Are there any tests that don’t use radiation that can provide you with the information you need?
Will the equipment that is to be used emit the lowest amount of radiation possible? For instance, a newer CT scanner that is known as the “Ultrafast” can deliver a lower amount of radiation than those that are called spiral or multi-detector CT scanners. Sometimes the type of test requires a CT scanner that emits a higher level of radiation; however this is not always the case.