5.16.2011

npr today - walt bogdanich - reporting on the hidden dangers of medical radiation


I don't know if you caught this today but I thought there was a pretty interesting show on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, she was talking with Walt Bogdanich who has written in the NY Times about the hidden dangers of medical radiation. It's just very eye opening and I don't know about you but when I take my kids to the dentist and they ask if they can take x-rays it always freaks me out a bit. Now, after listening to this interview I think I will be able to answer in a more knowledgeable way.

Mr. Bogdanich even goes on to suggest "[You can ask your dentist] 'Is this imaging exam necessary? Is it necessary for me, every six months when I come in to have my teeth cleaned?" he says. "I think everyone should ask what speed film the dentist is using, and every patient should ask, 'Why are you not using digital?' And particularly for young adults who are about to have braces on, [ask] 'Is it really necessary to have this cone beam CT scan, or is there a way for you to get the images you need ... without using as much radiation?".

He does not want people not to have an x-ray, but to be able to ask the right questions when it is suggested and help you to know what the issues are at this time and the possibilities that the future holds. The procedures that don't involve radiation are ultrasound, MRI and sonogram. But pretty much everything else involves radiation and CT scans are the most common. It is made clear that these procedures are amazing and when necessary they are essential but it's good to ask questions and have this simple conversation on your head so that you are able to make a qualified decision or at the very least have some good questions. The interview is only 35 minutes but I am sure that you will like to hear this information. 

click here to listen to the conversation and I am sure you will be happy that you did.

1 comment:

SmartBear said...

Very interesting. I have always been a bit worried but thankfully my son hasn't needed one yet.
They were worried I had a pulmonary embolism when I was in my 3rd trimester. They insisted on a CT scan. I dug in my heels and cried...it was awful. In the end, they scared the hell out of my husband enough to get me to do it. All was well but I truly was frightened and it felt awful to do. I suppose I should feel thankful that it ruled out something that could have killed us both...
Great post.
Best,
Tina