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June asked...

I need to speak to someone who will give me an unbiased opinion on CT scanning.

Good afternoon. I am a member. I need to speak to someone who will give me an unbiased opinion on CT scanning and the risks of too many being offered following incidental findings. Kind regards

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The answer

Thank you for your question.

CT Scans (Computerised Tomography) use X-rays and a computer to get detailed information and images of the body and its functions.

The process is extremely useful in diagnosing conditions, guiding for further tests or treatments, and also to monitor conditions.

CT scanning is a process that wouldn’t normally be offered or suggested unnecessarily, and they are a useful tool to aid and guide medical professionals towards treatment decisions and management plans of conditions found.

Due to the exposure of X-ray radiation during the process, it is understandable why you may have concerns.

The following may help you guide any further decisions you may be unsure or anxious about;

  • The amount of radiation you're exposed to during a CT scan varies, depending on how much of your body is scanned. CT scanners are designed to make sure you're not exposed to unnecessarily high levels.
  • The amount of radiation you're exposed to during each scan is the equivalent to between a few months and a few years of exposure to natural radiation from the environment.
  • It's thought exposure to radiation during CT scans could slightly increase your chances of developing cancer many years later, although this risk is thought to be very small (less than 1 in 2,000).

The benefits and risks of having a CT scan will always be weighed up before it's recommended. It may be suggested that your particular concerns may be discussed with your GP.

We have included the following link from the Government Website with statistics that you may find useful.

Medical radiation patient doses

(Further information taken from; CT Scans)

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses