Should you worry about taking an X Ray? Will it cause cancer? “My doctor asked me to take this X-Ray, but I am scared to take it?” Many patients tell this today. Well, they may have a point; the debate on exposure to radiation and its side effects is not a new one. In the old days, yes; x-rays were, in a way, a bit risky imaging method. The level of radiation exposure is the factor to consider here. Also, whether you get cancer from it or not — this risk depends on the tissue being tested. As the oldest imaging method, this has saved millions of lives, and side effects of it have only caused a fraction.
The fact you should understand is this! When considering the potential benefits of the X-Ray; we can, in a way, ignore the risk of it. Also, the number of patients who have gone through serious side effects due to radiation exposure is a minimum. Over the past few decades, these imaging devices got developed to a greater extent. The OPG scan unit is the best example of it. Also, the amount of radiation that modern units use is pretty low. But, radiation is a carcinogenic ingredient. A few imaging methods use radiation in high amounts when compared to conventional X-Ray. For example, the CT Scan uses the highest X-ray dose, but many doctors recommend it due to potential and proven benefits of it.
What is the potential risk of it? Well, don’t worry! We discuss the worst scenario here, but the chance for those side effects is only a fraction. Mutations in our DNA cause cancer and X-Ray may trigger this. And, this is why the WHO and other medical organizations of the developed countries consider this to be cancer-causing. According to the latest statistics, about 0.4% of cancer patients in the USA have taken CT scans in their life. Still, millions of CT scans take place across the world every year. And, that fact alone proves that the benefits of the X-Ray outweighs its potential side effects. Elderly patients are at the highest risk of getting cancer after radiation exposure. Children also under risk here. Depending on the X-Ray type, the amount of radiation exposure varies to a greater extent. For example, the CT scan of the abdomen is Equivalent to 2.7 years of natural background radiation, which is something that we should consider.
Why do doctors recommend the X-Ray then? In cases of health emergencies, the doctor or the medical team has to take immediate actions to save a patient’s life. Or, if a cancer is spreading in your body, the doctor should know the extension of it. And, this means the process of imaging your body’s inside is the only and fastest option here. You may be bleeding inside, which is an imminent life threat; hence your doctor has got no other choice. Since the chance that you may get cancer from radiation exposure is only a fraction, you should give priority to the health condition that is killing you fast. But, we don’t say that the X-Ray would later kill you. Also, doctors know the potential side effects of it; hence they keep the number to a minimum. For example, they will ask you to take 1-2 X-Rays, and from those; they finalize your health condition.