Approximately 100 million scans are being performed every year in the United States. Many of the people that get these scans will develop cancer from the scan and more then 15,000 will die from the cancer. This is a serious problem so why are doctors prescribing at least one-third of these scans unnecessarily? It’s mainly because scans bring in revenue. But often it’s due to convenience. Doctors don’t want to get the patients’ records from another hospital.
More than 2,000 cases of breast cancer are caused by scans every year. And 15% of the people who get cancer from scans each year will be children or teens! Even though these numbers are alarming, doctors never warn patients of the risks of these scans. None of the cases of the people that get cancer from their medical treatment in this manner will be recorded as a side effect or medical-treatment-induced cancer-because there is no way to know which people got their cancer from prescribed radiation.
The United States is the worst in the world in overusing scans. There are 10 million nuclear scans being performed just in the world of cardiology, mostly in the form of CT scans. One of these typically is equivalent to 800 chest x-rays. Cardiology patients get a nuclear scan every single year as “follow-up.” These scans are equivalent to 2,000 chest x-rays.
If we don’t consider putting some monitoring of patients cumulative radiation exposure in place, drugs, medical procedures, surgeries, and scans will remain the #1 cause of death in America every year.
A patient could save their life if they avoid routine annual nuclear scans and stay away from medical radiation in the form of scans whenever possible. Instead, use ultrasound or MRI’s for diagnostics. Ultrasound and MRI’s have become very sophisticated for diagnostics and do not emit radiation.