Procedures for diagnosing and treating heart disease that use ionizing radiation can potentially damage cells and increase the risk of cancer. Although no single test is likely to be harmful, radiation from cardiac tests, dental x-rays, chest x-rays, mammograms, and tests performed for other reasons can add up, quickly reaching or surpassing the recommended lifetime medical radiation limit of 100 milliSieverts (mSv) set by the American College of Radiology, reports the July 2012 Harvard Heart Letter.
There's growing concern about CT scans because the popularity of these tests has exploded, exposing large numbers of people to sometimes substantial doses of radiation.
Tests that emit ionizing radiation include:
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