In the latest O, The Oprah Magazine, Dr. Oz warns women that thyroid cancer is on the rise. He connects the rise in this cancer to the increased use of X-rays, CT scans and mammograms. He does not go on to suggest that individuals should refuse these procedures, however he does recommend that exposure be minimized. Radiation is emitted at different rates from each source – CT scans emitting the most. The measurements in exhibit 1.1 (below) were published in the article.
CT Scans on The Rise Especially In Children
On April 6th, 2011 USA Today reported that the use of CT scans on children has increased from 330,000 in 1995 to 1.65 million scans in 2008! The adult population has seen a similar increase in CT scan frequency. Research shows that there is a very strong link between this type of exposure and cancer. Imagine the risks this poses to our children during their mostimportant years of development.
Many physicians even suggest avoiding CT scans at all costs! Research shows that in many cases an MRI can provide similar or even better results without the hefty dose of radiation. In fact, the term “safe radiation” is a misleading statement. According to the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP), there is no safe type of level of radiation exposure. Experts state that measurements on radiation dose limits come from statistical studies on large groups. Basically they are computed averages. Doses of radiation accumulate in the body, the more you get, the more risk of cells dying, mutating and/or forming cancer.
Leading experts suggest the following to keep your risk down for radiation exposure:
- Keep X-Ray exposure to a minimum. Wear a lead apron when getting mammograms and dental X-Rays.
- Always request a throat guard when getting X-Rays
- Question your doctor’s use of diagnostic scanning on you. Ask if it is really going to help you.
- Ask about alternatives to CT scans like ultrasounds or MRIs.
- Strengthen your body by eating lots of dark leafy greens and using anti-oxidant supplements
- Reduce your stress! Stress tears your body down in a variety of ways, making it more susceptible to various forms of harm. Try to let relaxation creep into your daily routine, take time to just breathe deeply and always ask your self “what is the worst case scenario if this doesn’t get done or that happens?” If your answer does not involve torture or death, then stop worrying about it.
- Think positive – recent studies show that optimism and visualizing good health increases your chances to be cancer free.
Galarpe, Karen. No safe dose for radiation exposure. 06 APR 2011. 06 APR 2011.
Oz, Mehmet. “Radiation Fallout: Is Your Next Scan Safe?” O, The Oprah Magazine (2011): 142.
The Associated Press. Rise in kids’ CT scans raises alarm. 06 APR 2011. 06 APR 2011 .