Medical Radiation: Excessive And Unnecessary

From DailyDose with William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. We're Zapped By More Tests Than Any Other Nation

We're so radioactive that our bodies should be declared hazardous waste and sealed in lead-lined vaults - or maybe just shot out into space. Americans get more radiation-powered medical tests than anyone else on earth - half of all advanced procedures performed on the entire planet, according to a recent Associated Press report.

In one outrageous instance, a New Hampshire teen was run through the CT ringer 14 times to check for kidney stones, giving him the kind of radiation you'll only find in survivors of Hiroshima and Chernobyl, and I only wish that was an exaggeration. I don't know what fool this kid had for a doctor, but I've never needed a CT scan to deal with a case of the stones.

Another young woman had 31 abdominal scans - each one packing the radioactive punch of roughly 500 traditional X-rays, according to a doctor in the article. Horrified, the doctor began searching the records in the two hospitals where he works and found at least 50 people who were given massive amounts of radiation over a three-year period. Think that can't happen to you? Think again - because chances are, it already has.

One study found that heart attack patients get the equivalent of 850 chest X-rays in the first few days of their hospital stay and that most of them were repeats of tests they'd already had. It's so bad that CT scans are now responsible for 1 percent of all new cancer cases, with 29,000 cancers expected from the tests carried out in 2007 alone. And that's just the beginning, because our overall radiation exposure has shot up SIX TIMES in three decades.

There's one simple reason for this, and it has nothing to do with your health. Advanced tests are expensive tests and each zap is worth hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. I've heard of some people who've been billed $6,000 for a CT scan in search of those kidney stones I mentioned earlier - a zap that can usually be completed during a commercial break. Like I've said before, it's some of the easiest money in the entire field of medicine. Bottom line: There is no safe level of radiation. Approach any test with extreme skepticism, because most docs aren't interested in looking inside your body- just your wallet.


 
Fall Out From Radiation Raises Concern

From NaturalNews Radiation Scan Problems Only Noticed After Patients' Hair Falls Out (7/10) by David Gutierrez

New concern over lack of regulation in medical radiation has been spurred by a case in which more than 300 patients received excessive levels of radiation, but doctors only uncovered the problem when patients' hair began to fall out. The radiation errors occurred at three hospitals in Los Angeles and one in Alabama, during heart tests performed with a special form of computed tomography (CT) scan. Some patients received more than eight times the intended radiation dose.

Since the case became public, there has been a growing call for tighter regulation of diagnostic and therapeutic radiation techniques. The American Society for Radiation Oncology, the country's foremost radiation oncology association, recently called for new safety measures, including a central database where technicians can report any errors in CT scanners or the linear accelerators that produce medical radiation. The New York Times has printed features documenting the severe health problems that can result from the improper use of medical radiation, especially in women and children.

This concern is made all the more urgent by the ever-growing popularity of diagnostic radiation. Largely because of a vast increase in the use CT scans and similar tests, the average U.S. resident's lifetime radiation dose has increased to seven times above 1980 levels. Even if no errors occur in any of these tests, harm may still result simply from the overuse of inherently risky procedures.

Congress is investigating why oversight into medical radiation remains so weak in the United States. Many observers have attributed the problem to the lack of a clear regulatory framework, with the New York Times noting that laws and rules designed to protect patients from excessive radiation exposure are weak, unevenly applied, and inconsistent across states and institutions. Although the FDA technically has jurisdiction over all medical devices, it has rarely made use of its authority. Consumer groups have criticized the agency for failing to make manufacturers even perform safety tests before putting radiation scanners or other medical devices on the market.

There is no longer a need for ultrasonic, nuclear magnetic resonance or radiography to know your health condition. Introducing the newest high-tech innovation that combines the best of medicine, bioinformatics, electrical engineering and other sciences.

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