Saturday, December 1, 2007
X Ray Information and Radiation
There really is alot of information out currently about x-rays, Ct's and all this radiation we're getting. I think it is great to inform the public as long as you are giving them accurate information on all the aspects concerned. Sure radiation is not "good for you", however it is the only way to perform x-ray examinations, and CT examinations. These diagnostic tools save thousands of lives every day, so I don't think they deserve ALL the bad publicity they are getting right now. The issue IS and Should Be, that radiation when "deemed necessary" is an extremely valuable tool.The problem area is that necessary part. Sometimes what a patient feels is necessary, and what a Doctor feels is necessary, are two different things. The difference is that the Doctor has been schooled and highly trained for 6-10 years in the practice of medice. The patient may have spent a few hours possibly, on the Internet learning ALL about what they have..or don't have. The Doctor will know all the tests that can be utilized for a series of symptoms. The patient may see one or two online. So, in my eyes this is merely a publicity thing. Newspapers, TV, they all go after anything that can be made the least bit controversial and they beat it to death. IF it's Britany Spears, fine..she can handle that. This is however a much different arena. Some patient may read all this hype and decide they just won't have a CT scan, it could cause them cancer someday. IF this person has a serious problem and it doesn't get detected for a prolonged period of time, the result could be fatal. This goes back to the "necessary" part. IF you have problems and your Doctor feels a CT scan is necessary to diagnose if you have appendicits or whatever, then I feel you should definitley have that scan. IF you have a stomach ache for 3 hrs. and feel you "need" a CT scan, I definitley think you should NOT have that scan and I'm 99% sure your Doctor would agree. Most Doctors will try the least invasive tests first, depending on how severe your symptoms are. That is the Proper course of treatment. Trust your physician. No one is perfect, sure, but he is highly trained and I am sure he ..or she...will be happy to explain why they do or don't want to do a CT exam. Remember that not everything you hear on TV is accurate and honest. We wish that it were, but unfortunatley it is not. I am a Registered XRay Technologist and have been for 32 years so I know what is true and what is not. I think it is great when patients read up and are able to ask questions about their health care. I do not think it is wise to tell a Doctor what or order. Instead, establish a rapport with your Doctor where you can sit down and discuss your symptoms and perhaps the different treatments for those symptoms. Most all Doctors I know welcome an informed discussion and will be happy to participate in one with you. It is in their best interest, as well as yours, to have you healthy again. So, instead of throwing all this negative information at your Doctor on your next visit, you might try asking a few questions and presenting some positive xray information along with them.