RISK OF CT
ANCHOR LEAD: WHO NEEDS TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT TOO MUCH EXPOSURE TO RADIATION FOR MEDICAL TESTS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Seven times. That’s how much more radiation the average American is exposed to today for medical testing than just a decade ago. Experts warn that such exposure may result in an increased risk of cancer down the road, but Eliot Fishman, a CT expert at Johns Hopkins, says this assertion needs to be put into perspective.
FISHMAN: As radiologists who deal with radiation, we’re committed to the lowest possible dose per patients. We know that’s it’s a bigger issue of course if you’re seven years old rather than 87, but the technology is changing. So for example, let’s take cardiac CT. cardiac CT, which can save many lives, remember, if it’s a missed diagnosis or you’re not diagnosed with heart disease you could die. Now we’re asking if that study, which could save your life, could something potentially happen 30 years from now? It’s quite a different question opposed to 30 minutes from now. :31
Fishman does not dismiss the risk and says each study must be justified, but used properly, CT and other tests save lives. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.