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Docs clueless over CT scan risks

Was there anything better than the Saturday double feature?

Two flicks for the price of one, and you didn’t need to take out a second mortgage to buy some popcorn and Milk Duds.

You’d kick back in the seat… the lights would go down… and watch a flick where a mad doc would use radiation to turn normal people into mutant monsters.

Well, the double feature might be long gone, but the mad doc lives on.

And odds are… it’s your own doctor!

U.S. docs are zapping patients left and right, but they’re not turning anyone into monsters.

They’re causing cancer… and new research shows how most physicians are absolutely clueless about the risks they’re forcing on their patients with every zap.

A single CT scan can pack as much radiation as 100-250 chest X-rays… yet four out of five docs and technologists surveyed had no clue how much radiation they’re slamming patients with.

Even 72 percent of radiologists — folks who SHOULD know better than anyone else — got it wrong!

The cancer risk from all that radiation isn’t small.

It’s MASSIVE — so monstrously huge that CT scans will eventually be the cause of 1 percent of all new cancer cases.

The scans just from 2007 alone will lead to some 29,000 cancers and 15,000 cancer deaths in the future, according to major study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine a few years back.

That was supposed to be a call to action, urging docs to STOP overusing CT scans.

But instead of cutting back, docs are zapping folks like it’s going out of style, even working unnecessary CT scans into procedures where they’re not needed.

A colonoscopy is already perfect; but docs are now selling a “virtual” colonoscopy that uses CT scans despite the fact that it’s less reliable and could STILL result in a full-blown colonoscopy if any polyps are found.

They’re also being added to mammograms, making a bad procedure even worse.

A study a few years back found even CHILDREN are getting hit with these massive doses of radiation with alarming frequency, with pediatric CT scans jumping by a third between 2001 and 2009.

It’s time to stop the madness.

If your doc is pushing a CT, don’t automatically refuse. Sometimes, the scan might really be necessary.

But you have to find out — and you can do just that by asking three questions.

  1. Why is it needed?
  2. What other options do I have?
  3. What could happen if I DON’T get scanned?

If you don’t like his answers, get a second opinion from another doc… one who doesn’t have an itchy CT finger.

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