Are medical scans, like X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI, totally safe? Some people avoid any kinds of medical imaging, others insist on regular “tomography of everything.” So, which approach is better?
In fact, the usage of absolutely safe diagnostic imaging techniques seems impossible
Pure facts about medical scans
First of all, not all types of medical scans use radiation. For example, ultrasound and MRI have nothing to do with it. Briefly, they both use waves, and display the body’s response to them as an image. Such methods are safe for the patient’s health, since they cannot change the structure of cells.
Ionizing radiation (such as X-rays, or gamma rays in CT scans) acts differently, and can affect the tissues actually. Some mutations caused by radiation may even lead to cancer.
Still, you shouldn’t avoid X-ray or CT scans. First, the point is the dose of radiation, that is far from Chernobyl rates in modern devices. Also, in many cases only these medical scans help make a diagnosis, and treat the disease successfully. In addition, cancer due to radiation is very rare.
#2: Potential risks
On the other hand, professionals try not to expose patients to radiation in vain. Some organs, like thyroid gland and skin, are especially sensitive to it.
Also, children and pregnant women normally pass less of medical scans. At the same time, the dangers of ultrasound and MRI on the fetus are just a harmful myth, since there is no ionizing radiation.
#3: Medical scans you really need
A healthy person under the age of 40 does not need a tomography scan on a regular basis. Older people are usually recommended to pass CT scans regularly, and older women need mammography.