Jul 15, 2016

X-rays

X-rays were discovered during 1895. The first use of X-rays under clinical conditions was by John Hall-Edwards in Birmingham, England on 11 January 1896.

Up until 2010, five billion medical imaging studies have been conducted worldwide. Radiation exposure from medical imaging in 2006 made up about 50% of total ionizing radiation exposure in the United States.

X-rays both cause and kill cancer. The use of X-rays as a treatment is known as radiation therapy and is largely used for the management of cancer. It requires higher radiation doses than those received for imaging alone. X-rays beams are used for treating skin cancers using lower energy X-ray beams while higher energy beams are used for treating cancers within the body such as brain, lung, prostate, and breast.

A Computed Tomography (CT scan) and computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) make use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images of specific areas of a scanned person or object, allowing a user to see inside without cutting.

Diagnostic X-rays, primarily from CT  scans due to the large dose used increase the risk of developmental problems and cancer in those exposed. X-rays are classified as a carcinogen by both the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer and the US government. The radiation doses received from CT scans are 100 to 1,000 times higher than conventional X-rays. Cancers in the United States caused by CT scans performed in the past have been estimated to be as high as two percent.

According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, between the 1980s and 2006, the use of CT scans increased six hundred percent.  A study by a New York hospital found that nearly a third of its patients who underwent multiple scans received the equivalent of five thousand chest X-rays. Bottom line, if your doc or dentist cannot convince you that you really need the X-ray do not get it. Consider the X-ray factor of your future health vs. their wallet.