What are CT Scans and are they safe?

A CT scan is a test that produces cross-sectional X-ray images of the body.  Also known as Computerized Axial Tomography.

Image of a doctor attending a person as they begin a CT scan

CT scans are used to diagnose and to monitor the effectiveness of some medical treatments.

There are many thousands of false positives and also many false negatives. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine (November 29, 2007) shows that CT scans are dangerous and often unnecessary.

Some say that the amount of radiation your are exposed to in a CT scan is so small, it cannot be measured.  Even if true, it is still wise to limit radiation from any source, as the overall exposure adds to the lifetime load and the greater the exposure, the greater is the lifetime risk of cancer.

Be sure to check with your doctor whether or not a recommended CT scan is absolutely necessary.