Sunday, April 22, 2018

Are Americans really being over-exposed to radiation? Links to cancer posed


Wednesday, July 14, 2010
by MICK SEVERIN

A couple of X-rays or CT scans over a lifetime may or may not pose a health risk but it is evident we are receiving more tests using radiation than ever before.  CT scans for heart disease, brain, lungs, stomach and other health issues give fast and very detailed images. The use of these “super X-rays” has soared over the past 10 years.
A couple of X-rays or CT scans over a lifetime may or may not pose a health risk but it is evident we are receiving more tests using radiation than ever before. CT scans for heart disease, brain, lungs, stomach and other health issues give fast and very detailed images. The use of these “super X-rays” has soared over the past 10 years.

Radiation is a hidden danger you can’t really feel and the health issues radiation causes take years to manifest.

I came across a 2007 study presented by Columbia University that states, in the not too distant future, almost 2 percent of cancers could be due to CT scans that are given now.

My father-in-law, who passed away this past year from cancer, received two CT scans within a three-year period. Interestingly because of heath issues caused by war, he received X-rays throughout different periods of his life. Whether these tests contributed to his cancer we don’t know, but radiation from these X-rays have certainly come into question.

We get radiation from power lines, cell phones, microwaves, the soil and the sun but the biggest suspect in cancer causes is the mega doses of radiation in CT scans and X-rays. In fact, Americans receive the most medical induced radiation of any country.

A couple of X-rays or CT scans over a lifetime may or may not pose a health risk but it is evident we are receiving more tests using radiation than ever before.  CT scans for heart disease, brain, lungs, stomach and other health issues give fast and very detailed images. The use of these “super X-rays” has soared over the past 10 years.

A study done by Duke University found that heart attack patients get the equivalent of 850 chest X-rays over the first few days they are in the hospital. There are cases of individuals who have received 10 or more CT scans, producing dangerous amounts of radiation, for various health issues before they were 40 years old.

There is no real tracking by the medical community of radiation received by patients.

X-rays are doses of radiation but they are ordered as tests, not doses. And there are no federal rules on radiation except for mammograms.

When you enter an imaging center it is very possible you could receive too much radiation if the scan or X-ray machine wasn’t reset for size and weight.

How much is too much? 

Studies of the Japanese people involved in the atomic bomb blasts of WWII had higher incidences of cancer and higher cancer risks after exposure of 50 to 150 of millisieverts of radiation. CT scans deliver 10 to 20 millisieverts, an ordinary chest X-ray delivers 0.01 to 0.1, a mammogram delivers less than 1and a dental X-ray 0.005 of millisieverts.

Do the math.

Studies have shown that at least one third of these tests are unnecessary and that over 20 million adults are being put at unnecessary risk.

Studies done by physicians in Michigan and New Mexico have also concluded that radiation doses in CT scans could be cut in half and still produce quality images.

What should you do if it is suggested that you get a CT scan?

According to Dr. Fred Mettler, radiology chief in the New Mexico Veterans Administration you should ask questions. For example, ask why you are getting it, what’s the dose of radiation and how will it improve your medical issue. He also suggests you avoid CT scans for chest and abdominal areas where cancer could develop.

All this talk about CT scans and X-rays is for sick people. Certainly there might be a time and a place for an important test but, as this article hinted, we overuse the system and by doing so cause unnecessary problems.

Our country has the ability to deliver the best medical care in the world but one of the drawbacks of medicine is that it is big business. Medical care produces a lot of money and money can taint the best of intentions.

The best medicine and your best defense are to live a healthy life style. Try to eat the right foods, learn about supplements and use them if you feel they will help, exercise and of course, relax.

If we can help call us at (888) 348-7623, e-mail info@fitnessroad.com or get on the website www.fitnessroad.com.  You can also visit our Wellness Center in Tempe Arizona just 2 miles east off the I-10.

God bless you and yours, Mick.       

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

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