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Radiation from Scan – Is It Dangerous

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For any test, you should consider the risks as well as benefits. In the case of most patients, the benefit of diagnosing cancer and confirming the need for surgical intervention outweighs the risk caused by exposure to radiation.
Radiation from CT/PET Scan – Is It
Dangerous
Every day, patients visit scan centers for imaging tests,
including Computed Tomography (CT) and Positron Emission
Tomography (PET). Some patients express some concerns as they have
heard that these tests cause exposure to radiation. And, they would like to
know whether the radiation would hurt them or cause any problems over
the years and the contrast agents injected into them for the test are safe.
They are definitely valid questions. Further, the truth is that imaging tests
expose patients to radiation in small amounts. Therefore, the potential risk
of PET CT scan is the incidence of cancer. However, in most situations, the
benefits offered by imaging tests outweigh the risk exposure to radiation.
Answers to a few commonly asked questions are provided below to help
ease patients’ concerns as regards exposure to radiation.
Which types of diagnostic imaging tests make use of radiation?
X-rays and CT scans are the most commonly used imaging tests. In both
cases, radiation is involved. Mammograms also expose patients to radiation
but in very small doses. The radiation patients are exposed to during
imaging tests is much less compared to the background radiation people
are exposed to every year.
Radiation is involved in nuclear medicine studies (for example PET scans),
heart stress tests, and thyroid gland iodine scans. However, the amount
varies from one test to another.
How much radiation does a CT scan expose you to?
As the best cancer diagnostic center in Mumbai, we strive to minimize
patients’ exposure to radiation. Unnecessary exposure to radiation can be
avoided if patients tell us if they underwent the same test at another
hospital recently. The radiation doses from our PET scan machines are low,
but the images obtained are of high-quality. In reality, the quantum of
radiation patients are exposed to during the course of a single imaging test
is not very significant at all. We make use of the Discovery IQ imaging
machine which requires radiation only in a low dose. Typically, the benefits
far outweigh the risk of exposure to radiation.
What is the impact of radiation on patients who need to undergo
multiple PET scans?
People who have been diagnosed with cancer often have to undergo PET
scans frequently to determine the effectiveness of their treatment. Many
patients are worried that repeated PET scans might induce cancer in them
in the future. Theoretically, there is a small risk of development of new
cancer in the future due to exposure to radiation, but the risk of developing
a complication from the existing cancer is much higher.
Who should avoid imaging tests?
Some patients are more prone to developing complications from exposure
to radiation. We take additional care for the management of risk. In general,
the risk of contracting cancer due to exposure to radiation during imaging
tests is very low. However, the risk is higher for women and younger
people. Young people suffering from chronic medical problems might have
to get imaging tests done throughout their life. That’s why we exercise
caution when dealing with them. In addition to minimizing the number of
imaging tests, we explore other options whenever possible.
PET Scan Mumbai, The Best PET CT Scan Center in Mumbai
For any test, you should consider the risks as well as benefits. In the case of
most patients, the benefit of diagnosing cancer and confirming the need
for surgical intervention outweighs the risk caused by exposure to
radiation.
If you are worried about exposure to radiation during a test or have
questions as regards the tests, you must ask your doctor. We want you to
feel comfortable and you have the right to know as to how the imaging tests
work and why they are important.
Author
PET Scan Mumbai
PET Scan Mumbai23   documents Email
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