Insisting on More Discriminatory Use of CT Scans Could Reduce Your Cancer Risks
Related Reading: Cervical Cancer Information
Ask Your Doctor if a CT Scan is Absolutely Necessary
Except for any noted source material, content copyright, Neva. J. Howell, all rights reserved. Views expressed are my own. Presented for educational purposes and not intended to replace needed medical attention
I’ve talked about several medical practices here that I feel are abused or overused. I’m obviously not the only one concerned about the overuse of antibiotics and how this practice has, I feel, contributed to the creation of the MRSA superbug.
I’m also not the only person screaming about off-label prescribing. At least three people in my close family have been adversely affected when their doctors prescribed medications not typically prescribed for their health challenge or combined medications with adverse results for their health challenge.
I’ve also posted information on the concerns being raised about the practice of reusing medical syringes and the sometimes unnecessary risk patients are put at by the prescribing of discretionary blood transfusions.
Now, I must add something else to the list….the overuse and, in some cases, abuse of CT Scans.
There seems to be a tendency to trust the doctor so completely that there is no room for questioning. Some doctors even promote this type of blind trust so that they don’t have to spend as much time answering questions. I am of the strong belief that health is a very personal responsibility and that any doctor helping me must consider the relationship a partnership where each party has a say and can input along the way.
Along with you right to decide if you want a discretionary blood transfusion, want to try off-label prescribing to treat your challenge, or want to take that Z-Pac that the doctor gave you along with your allergy shot, you also have the right to decide whether or not a CT Scan is worth the risk.
By the way, concerning antibiotics, a good question to ask with the Z-Pac is whether or not your doctor actually found bacterial infection or are just prescribing the Z-Pac “for safe measure”. If it’s for safe measure, maybe it’s safer to skip it sometimes……
Well, I’m getting off track. This post is about CT Scans.
What you should know about a CT Scan before you agree to one. Yes, you do have a choice. It is your body.
I decided to post this after reading, and also hearing on a newscast, that new research is throwing up red flags on indiscriminate use of CT Scans and, in particular, full body CT Scans.
From what I’ve read, it is expected the future research will prove that CT Scans cause 2 percent of all cancers. However small that percentage looks, there are some groups which make up most of those at risk and the percentage of risk among those people is much higher.
For example, those whose doctor has suggested annual CT Scans are much more at risk. In fact, from what I’ve read, I am convinced that any doctor suggesting a yearly CT Scan is putting their patients at unnecessary risk of contracting the very disease they are trying to detect, which is usually cancer when CT Scans are suggested on an annual basis. If your doctor has suggested an annual CT Scan, please read this report on cancer risks for full body CT Scans.
CT Scans and X-Rays are NOT the same
Some people mistakenly believe that a CT Scan is just another way of having an x-ray done. The truth is that one CT Scan delivers the same amount of radiation as survivors of those exposed to atomic bombs during World War II. Your body is literally being subjected to that much radiation in a single full body CT Scan.
CT Scans deliver a massive dose of radiation to a small area, your body, in a concentrated way.
CT Scans for the heart
If your doctor suggests a CT Scan to detect cardiovascular issues, you should know there is now an FDA-approved cardiovascular function test that may be able to tell your doctor what they need to know without this risk. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions and to ask about alternatives to invasive procedures like cardiac catheterizations or tests that put you at risk, like CT Scans and the traditional cardiac stress test that is done on the treadmill, stressing already weak hearts to see if they can withstand the greater stress of surgery. Bizarre medicine.
As dangerous as CT Scan overuse is among adults exposed to repeated scans, the dangers are much higher for children because their systems are more sensitive to the effects of radiation. If I were a parent, my doctor would absolutely need to convince me that a CT Scan was the only option available for detecting what was wrong with my child. Absolutely convince.
The important thing here is education and communication. Educate yourself with the facts about CT Scans and also, specifically about the type of CT Scan your doctor recommends. If it’s partial, say only scanning the colon, then read up on colon-specific info. Then, have a strong, firm conversation with your doctor about risks, alternative testing and the degree of need. Think twice about any suggeste scan that your doctor terms “discretionary” or “exploratory”. You have a right to all the facts and all know alternatives to scanning be presented to you before you make your decision.