In Focus:

Are CT scans safe? Is it true that CT scans may increase my risk of cancer?

Medical imaging exams — including CT scans — have been directly linked to greater life expectancy and declining cancer death rates. Medical imaging exams are also generally less expensive and safer than invasive procedures, such as exploratory surgery.

Like other X-ray-imaging exams, CT scans expose you briefly to a small, targeted amount of ionizing radiation, which helps create an image of structures inside your body. CT scans provide more-detailed images of more types of tissue than traditional X-rays do, which allows your doctor to detect and locate many medical conditions.

 

CT scans have various purposes. They include helping to diagnose a condition, guiding medical procedures, such as needle biopsies, and monitoring the effectiveness of certain treatments, such as cancer treatments.

At the low doses of radiation a CT scan uses, your risk of developing cancer from it is so small that it can't be reliably measured. Because of the possibility of an increased risk, however, the American College of Radiology advises that no imaging exam be done unless there is a clear medical benefit.

Read the whole article

More hot stories

Is it possible to overcome test anxiety?

Several strategies can reduce test anxiety and increase your performance on test day. A little nervousness before a test is normal and can help sharpen your mind and focus your attention. But with test anxiety, feelings of worry and self-doubt can interfere with your test-taking performance and make you miserable. Test...

Read More

Teens and sex: Protecting your teen's sexual health

Few parents want to face the idea that their teens are having sex — but research shows that many teens are sexually active by high school, potentially putting themselves at risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). When it comes to teens and sex, the key is discussing the...

Read More

Are sagging breasts inevitable after breast-feeding?

Research has shown that breast-feeding doesn't negatively affect breast shape or volume. During pregnancy, the ligaments that support your breasts might stretch as your breasts get fuller and heavier. This stretching might contribute to sagging breasts after pregnancy — whether or not you breast-feed your baby. Sagging breasts might be more...

Read More