Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Growing Radiation Risk

The growth in diagnostic imaging tests in America has exploded in recent years. It's estimated that our radiation exposure has increased more than 600% since 1980. According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements increased exposure leads to increased cancer risk. Since many imaging centers are owned by doctors it's become a lucrative opportunity resulting in a wild west environment, a dangerous place for patients.

Isn't it amazing that occupational radiation exposure is regulated by the federal government but there is no federal oversight when radiation is used for medical purposes? Doesn't this seem like upside-down priorities considering the number of people at risk?

Today even some doctors are beginning to suggest that tracking a patient's cumulative radiation dose in their medical record is necessary. Such a record could help prevent unnecessary radiation exposure.

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