Interim Physicians Blog

Dr. Ken's Corner: CT Scans Overdone, Say Radiologists

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on May 26, 2015 7:30:37 PM

When a doctor prescribes a medication, we weigh the risks versus the benefits. "Now we need to start having that same kind of question about medical imaging," says Dr. Rebecca Smith-Bindham, radiology professor at the University of California at San Francisco (Time, November 22, 2014). Radiologists are raising red flag warnings about the soaring use of CT scans which typically emit much higher doses of ionizing radiation than traditional x-rays. A regular-dose CT scan of the chest, for example, exposes the patient to 70 times more radiation than a single chest x-ray. The concern is that such high doses of ionizing radiation may eventually lead to cancer. Making matters worse, the more CT scans one undergoes over time, the greater the risk.

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Topics: Dr. Ken's Corner, Radiology