Risks from radiological & nuclear medicine examinations

 
ct-scan1The basis of present day medicine is shared decision making between the doctor and the patient. Empowering a patient to make informed decisions about their treatment is a fundamental principle in medical professionalism. But is this principle translated into clinical practice in so far as radiological and nuclear medicine examinations are concerned?

In general, patients undergoing radiological and nuclear examinations receive no, very little, or inaccurate information regarding the risks involved. Take, for example, the CT Scans and X-rays. They are so common that they are used as if they don’t pose any risk.

The total number of imaging examinations (use of nuclear and X-rays), for instance, account for 2 billion per year. Angiograms are performed routinely by cardiologists; radioisotope studies are common; the use of contrast mediums like iodine is also routine and now we have the Helical CT Scans which carry a high risk of cancer or death.
 

2% of cancers due to CT scans

ct-scanA study by two researchers from the Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research in New York which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has raised concerns regarding the increasing radiation exposure through Computed Tomography or CT scans.

Do not fluoridate our water

fluorosis-dental

CAP is concerned that water fluoridation is to be re-introduced into Sabah's public wat er supply next year as reported in Bernama dated 28 December 2010.

Water fluoridation was discontinued in 1989 by the then Sabah State Government which feared that inadequate supervision in the process of adding fluoride to the water could cause adverse effects.  It is reported that the imminent water fluoridation project is under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) with an allocation of RM2.5 million.

Mobile phones should carry cancer warnings

brain-cancer-risks-colourManufacturers should put labels on phones and packaging warning of the potential for brain cancer associated with electromagnetic radiation. The warnings should also warn that the most vulnerable users like children and pregnant women keep the devices away from their head and body.