.What are the 4 Dangers of Medical Radiation?
The concern about the amount of radiation in medical imaging tests is growing. CT, mammograms and x-ray scans use ionizing radiation, which can damage your cell’s DNA.
The real problem is that over a period, this can lead to cancer. Those who have been exposed to higher amounts of radiation are at a higher risk.
The CT Scan Is Being Overused
In the past decade, the exposure risk has increased dramatically. The most significant concern is CT scans.
These machines emit a higher dose of radiation than a typical x-ray. Over 30 years ago, about 3 million CT scans were done in this country every year.
Today, it’s estimated that we do more than 76 million CT scans annually. The National Cancer Institute did some research into the matter. They found that approximately 29,000 people could have increased risks for cancer from these scans.
New Diagnostic Measures Are Needed
The goal is to limit exposure to medical radiation. Some experts believe that one-third of the CT scans done each year could be avoided. The tests have become widely overused. The CT scan is often preferred over an MRI because it’s quicker and much less expensive. However, the MRI doesn’t emit all that radiation.
Remember the days when they used exploratory surgery for both diagnostic and treatment purposed? With all the latest equipment, this type of surgery is almost non-existent. New ways to diagnose must be discovered as the risks of medical radiation cannot be ignored.
The Radiation Equation
The problem is the radiation equation. Ionizing radiation has enough energy to penetrate the body.
It’s so powerful that it can damage the DNA, and if the damage isn’t repaired by the body, it causes DNA mutations, which eventually lead to cancer.
Just like those who experience sunburns are more likely to develop skin cancer, undergoing these tests can also be a huge factor. One study showed that children who had a CT scan of their chest, abdomen or head were more likely to develop either leukemia or brain cancer within the next decade.
Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults, but that doesn’t mean that adults shouldn’t be concerned. Professionals with an MBA in healthcare management should be acutely aware of a patient’s frequency of medical radiation treatments and adjust diagnostic methods accordingly.
Too Much Radiation Affects the Body’s Repair Mechanisms
The body has the unique ability to repair any damage done by low levels of radiation. However, when the levels are high, the body may not be able to fight off the excessive impairment. It’s all about the dose. At higher exposure levels, the body’s repair mechanisms are overwhelmed.
We need people with degrees to study and invest time and effort into coming up with alternatives for testing. The focus of medical and health science degrees in the future should not only be on learning what is already out there, but also on the development of newer, safer measures to screen patients.
The risks of radiation are undeniable. Before taking any tests, ask if they are necessary.
Are there any other means that can be used to arrive at the same outcome? Is there another test that doesn’t increase the risk of cell damage and developing cancer later on? These are great questions to mull over when you are having an injury or illness diagnosed.
Article by Anica Oaks
Freelance writer and web enthusiast