Protect the Ovaries, and The Rest of You From Radiation Damage!

It should come as no surprise that Americans are getting too much radiation exposure. I've been getting questions from patients about "wave" exposure from cell phones, microwaves and even TVs for years. So exactly why some of these same folks have been happy to jump in front of the circumnavigating rotengen rays has been a bit of a mystery. The fact is that a computed tomographic scan is sort of a "anything goes" test. The amount of time, the number of film exposures and the depth of penetration is decided by your radiologist. There is no real standardized, and there are over 80 million of these CT tests done to the US population yearly. The amount of x ray exposure is not just from CT scans of course, our chest x rays, the mammograms we get, and the run of the mill spine and hip tests all confer some exposure as well. And these tests can be life saving. If a woman participates in mammographic screening she has a 25% less chance of dying of breast cancer than if she doesn't. So it's definitely important to stand up and take some of those rays. These rays are not so different that the UV rays we get exposed to walking out to our car. But dosage, and the amount focused to a particular body part is definitely an issue. So that there is a small, but real risk of cancer with too much exposure. So think twice. According to a July 14th report in the Journal of the AMA, we can markedly reduce risk of the exposure if our physicians performing the x-ray studies follow standard protocols for administering the test in order to achieve a diagnosis. So when you are offered a CT scan, ask simple questions: is this the best test, the most important first test? Could your ovaries for instance be checked by a safer test such as an ultrasound? If you won't protect your ovaries, who will?

Comments

  1. It sometimes helps if we stay away from too much surfing the net or using the computer. Also you need to got to your gynecologist to make sure that your ovaries are healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, lots of good sources of information for patients, forums for discussions, and places to disseminate thoughts other than just the internet! And as for checking in with your gynecologist about ovarian heath, I heartily agree as well! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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