Does the radiation from CT scans have a bearing on cancer?
CT Scans increase your risk of cancer by 35 percent
Risk of cancer: 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. (but, as much as 35% in the short term – keep reading)
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.
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 negative 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.