Harvard Men's Health Watch

Medical radiation: Too much of a good thing?

Medical imaging techniques such as CTs, nuclear scans, and x-rays have saved countless lives which may explain why the average lifetime dose of diagnostic radiation has increased sevenfold since 1980. Exposure to diagnostic radiation can have unintended consequences and side effects with the potential for both misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis, which often lead to excessive or unnecessary treatment. Ionizing radiation exposure through medical testing is generally safe, but there are risks that patients and caregivers need to be aware of.
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