By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a groundbreaking report: a study which looked at 952,000 adults found that over two-thirds of adults in 2010 were exposed to twice as much radiation as they would have received from natural sources because of medical imaging. Those exposed the most: women and older individuals.
The study found that CT scans and nuclear tests accounted for three-quarters of non-treatment-based medical radiation exposure. Certainly these tests are money makers – especially for hospitals – but we have yet to prove whether or not diagnostic tests and imaging prevent major medical problems, reduce costs in the long run, or whether they’re worth the inherent risk of developing cancer from radiation exposure.
Certainly there are tests that are necessary and lifesaving but we need to be more responsible when and how we use them.