When CT scan technology was first employed, the test was reserved for the most critically ill patients and challenging cases. Only major medical centers had the equipment to perform the tests. During the past twenty years, however, use of the technology has accelerated enormously. Most people are now exposed to a much higher lifetime dose of radiation than previously.
Medical imaging provides doctors with the advantage of diagnosing and monitoring injuries and diseases while minimizing discomfort and down time. Patients no longer need to be hospitalized and undergo invasive procedures, but now they are subject to other risks. Researchers have determined that CT scans (sometimes called CAT scans) expose the body to dangerous radiation that increases the lifetime risk of cancer by up to 24 percent.
These scans differ from single x-ray images. They are equivalent to a series of individual images organized by a computer to create a high-contrast 3-D image of sections of the body. The exposure to radiation is comparable to exposure to multiple x-ray procedures, up to 10 times a person’s natural exposure.
A 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal followed 11 million subjects from the time they were born in the 1980s to the time they became young adults. Among that group were 680,000 participants who had had at least one CT scan. The researchers determined the subjects who had a CT scan during childhood were at 24 percent higher risk of developing cancer than those who had not. The more scans the participants had received, the higher their risk of developing cancer. That elevated risk continued over time. There was a 35 percent greater risk during the first four years after a scan. The risk dropped to 25 percent in 5 to 9 years, and 14 percent in 10 to 14 years following the last scan.
If you must undergo a CT scan, natural health experts recommend a course of supplementation. For five days prior to the scheduled scan, take lemon balm extract, ginkgo biloba extract, and spirulina, three times daily. Continue for five days after the scan. It is also wise to have plenty of blueberries, which can enhance DNA repair.