Preventing the Side Effects of Clinical Radiology

Preventing the Side Effects of Clinical Radiology
October 16 14:05 2017 Print This Article

The advancement in medical equipment and technology has hugely benefited mankind. Many diseases, once considered terminal and incurable, have become treatable. Among all the different innovations, medical imaging has made diagnosing and locating the disease very convenient and accurate. Different radiological techniques have revolutionized the diagnostic division of medicine by providing images of the inside of the body.

However, this astounding ability to peer inside the body to capture images comes with a cost. The radioactive electromagnetic rays used in different clinical radiology techniques (what is radiology?) are harmful for the human body, and frequent exposure can put the life of any person in jeopardy.

Nearly 57% of the diagnostic imaging carried out in Australia falls in different subsets of clinical radiology, making many patients vulnerable to the side effects of radiations.

Many side effects such as nausea, headache and general feeling of weakness and are common symptoms of excessive exposure to medical radiations. But it doesn’t end here. In some instances, it can lead to the development of a cancerous tumour in the body as well.

Radiation Dosage

Measuring radiation dosage is an important tool in determining the harmful effects of radiation imaging techniques. Since the human body doesn’t have a symmetrical structure, different tissues and organs inside the body are different in their makeup and sizes, and have varying sensitivity to radiation exposure. The radiation dose is usually measured in millisievert (mSv). The danger of radiations can be highlighted by the fact that a single CT scan of abdomen and pelvis area uses radiation doses up to 16 mSv and 100 mSc is the annual minimum limit of radiation dose – figures that can increase the chances of developing cancer.

Taking the Radiation out of Radiology

In the literal sense, it sounds quite contradictory. But if considered in the context discussed, it is imperative to know how to save yourself from the harmful effects of radiology.

Only Go for the Tests if Necessary

Over-diagnosis is one of the reasons many people get adversely affected by radiations of diagnostic imaging. Going for too many X-rays and CT-scan tests can have drastic effects on your health. Always ask yourself and your physician, is the radiology test going to improve my heath

Preferring Non-radiation Medical Imaging Alternatives

Remember that not all medical imaging techniques involve radiations. For instance, MRI and ultrasound are also effective imaging techniques, and in many cases, are better suited options than X-rays or CT scans. For example, MRI is a better imaging option for the diagnosis and monitoring of brain tumours, strokes, and injuries related to tendons, ligaments and spinal cord.

Lowest Amount of Radiation-Limited Area of the Body

If radiological imaging becomes inevitable, then make sure that you are getting the lowest amount of radiation dosage calibrated according to your body size. Also, make sure that only a limited area of your body is exposed to radiation. Ensure that adjacent parts of the body are properly shielded.

Undergoing radiological imaging becomes necessary in some medical conditions, and we can limit the harming effects of radiology by keeping the above discussed measures in mind.


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Ralph Ducksworth
Ralph Ducksworth

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