ANCHOR LEAD: THE BENEFITS OF CT OUTWEIGH ITS RISKS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
CT just keeps improving in its ability to image the body, leading to more and more use of the technology. But some physicists are sounding a note of warning that CT is overused and may lead to cancer. Elliot Fishman, a CT expert at Johns Hopkins, says such an assertion must be put into perspective.
FISHMAN: There’s no doubt the number of CT scans has increased over the years, on the other hand if you go back 20 years you remember people went for surgery for exploratory laparotomy, to see what’s going on. Well, guess what? There are no exploratory laparotomies anymore. Because you don’t operate until you know what’s going on because you have a CT scan. There’s so much we’ve improved patient care. So it’s important to recognize that we are here to improve patient care and CT has been one of the key stalwarts in improving patient care, recognizing that it needs to be used as needed. :31
Fishman says patients should talk with their doctor about CT’s risks and benefits. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.