Do you have any idea how much radiation you have had cumulatively? According to a recent article in the NY Times, CT scans deliver 100 to 500 times the radiation associated with an ordinary X-ray. 1.5 percent of all cancers that occur in the United States are caused by radiation exposure and CT accounts for the bulk of it.
Dr Lauer makes a statement worth pondering: “Most physicians who order imaging tests experience no consequences for incurring costs for procedures of unproven value. On the contrary, they or their colleagues are paid for their services, and their patients don’t complain because the costs are covered by third parties. Patients are pleased to receive thorough evaluations that involve the best cutting-edge technologies.”
Now for the most disturbing statement in the article: ‘There is an enormous variation — sometimes tenfold or more — in the amounts of radiation to which patients are exposed from the same procedure at different institutions, or even at the same institution at different times.’
For those of us who have had radiation for treatment for cancer, this article can be alarming. But remember, the bottom line is, it’s not about the length of our lives, but the breadth of it. Enjoy each day as it comes!
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