CT scans increase your risk of cancer by 35 percent

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ct-scan(NaturalHealth365) Medical imaging technology has provided physicians with a nonsurgical method for discovering, diagnosing and monitoring injuries and diseases. Rather than a hospital stay and invasive procedure, patients can undergo a CT scan with little discomfort or down time.

But now research is starting to reveal that those very diagnostic tools that helped patients avoid the risks of surgery are bringing with them an even greater health risk. Studies have found that CT scans, also known as CAT scans, exposes the human body to dangerous ionizing radiation, increasing the lifetime risk for developing cancer by as much as 24 per percent.

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Explosion in use of CT scans plus dangerous radiation

When CT scans were first introduced, the test was reserved only for the most ill patients and the most challenging cases. The technology was also only available from the largest, most advanced medical facilities.

But, over the course of the past two decades, use of the CT scans has exploded. The combined radiation dose from all medical imaging performed has increased 6-fold. Along with this increase in radiation exposure, there has been an associated growth in the rate of new, preventable cancers.

Unlike a single x-ray image, CT scans are equivalent to a series of individual X-ray images, organized by a powerful computer to produce a high-contrast 3-D image of body contents. Your exposure to dangerous radiation and increased cancer risk from a single CT scan is equivalent to having multiple individual X-rays. The exposure is so large, in fact, that it compares to 10 times your natural exposure.

Do you really know how much radiation is offered in a CT scan?

To understand just how dangerous this exposure is, consider that in one year, you are naturally exposed to about 3 milli-Sieverts (mSv) of radiation due to background radiation in space. Compare this to undergoing a single CT scan of your head, which can expose you to about 2 mSVBy or a full abdominal scan that could involve more than 30 mSv. That’s 10-fold the expected, yearly natural exposure!

Radiation exposures between 5 and 125 mSv are already considered ‘statistically significant’ because of the increases in cancer risk. But people who already have a known malignant growth are typically exposed to even higher radiation levels than healthy individuals because of the frequency of scans for diagnostic and follow-up purposes.

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Startling statistics reveal lasting dangers of CT scans

In a British Medical Journal study published in 2013, researchers followed about 11 million subjects from birth in the 1980s to young adulthood. Within that group, the researchers were able to identify 680,000 who had at least one CT scan.

Those who underwent a CT scan at some point in childhood increased their risk of developing cancer by 24 percent compared to those who didn’t go through a scan. The more scans the study subjects had, the greater their risk of developing cancer.

This increased risk remained for a considerable period afterward. The study’s researchers determined that those who underwent a CT scan in also found that the more scans a person had, the greater the risk of developing cancer. The increased risk for cancer did not go away after only a few days. Researchers found that a 35 percent increase in risk persisted for the first four years following exposure, tapering off to 25 percent in five to nine years, and 14 percent in 10 to 14 years following exposure.

Protect yourself from the harmful effects of CT scans

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your risk of exposure from a CT scan. Of course, the most logical first step is to simply discuss your concerns with your medical providers. Ask if there are any alternatives that could provide similar opportunities for diagnosis without the exposure to harmful radiation.

There are also specific nutrients with corresponding actions that may help protect against radiation if taken ahead of time. For example, lemon balm extract prevents formation of dangerous reactive chemicals formed by ionizing radiation exposure, while ginkgo biloba extract protects DNA from cancer-causing damage. A third nutrient, spirulina – reduces the harmful effects of ionizing radiation by supporting bone marrow and its production of vital blood cells.

If you must undergo a CT scan or other powerful source of ionizing radiation, start supplementing with these three protective ingredients. Take the combination one to three times daily for five days before the scheduled scan and for at least five days afterwards.

In addition, you may also want to ensure you have plenty of blueberries or blueberry extract in your diet. These have a wealth of health benefits, including the ability to markedly enhance DNA repair.

Don’t become a medical statistic due to a lack of knowledge. Educate yourself about natural ways to detoxify the body, boost immune function and safely remove cancer cells from the body without harmful drugs or risky surgical procedures.

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Jonathan LandsmanAbout the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalHealth365 Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalHealth365 INNER CIRCLE – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.


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  • Wilmer Barton

    The one fact that stands out and scares me is that not all machines give off the same amount of radiation. They are calibrated and many times the doctors and technicians have no idea if it was done correctly.

    Different machines have different amounts. The older models give off more. Do you know anything about the machine your facility uses?

    Remember the old x-ray machines in dentists offices gave off more than the new digital ones used today. This is a big problem, because it is one than isn’t on the radar of most facilities.

    What is important to any medical facility is can they be profitable. You aren’t the industries first priority.

  • Norman P

    The use of these scans exploded, because doctors have learned to become dependent on them. It is easier than using an understanding of health on what can be wrong. They are losing this ability through not using and relying on it anymore.

    They are afraid of the new malpractice industry that has sprung up. We are the victims of this so-called medical industry. Good article on the dangers of the over use of this and other tests.

  • Randolph Kugler

    I know people that had a number of these tests. No one has warned them of their dangers. Many times they received quite a few tests and the doctors still had no idea of what was wrong.

  • Nurse Lori

    I am a nurse who has seen these the tests ordered by the doctor. Having been in this field for many years I have seen how medical practices have changed. Modern medicine leaves a lot to be desired.

    This is one instant where I agree with the article-too many tests and not enough skills. Many times I have seen tests that are read wrong. This is a widespread problem.