A visit to the hospital can result in numerous tests which tally up the bill, but the thought that the tests could be harmful to our health never cross our minds. Knowing a test will cause us cancer in the future with a likelihood of one in eighty, knowing the test will alter our DNA, knowing the test will alter our chromosomes, knowing it is not just a quick test may change our minds. When we are just a number to someone making money, it’s important that we have all the facts prior to potentially dangerous testing, especially when the testing is becoming commonplace. 

The reference CT scan is short for computed tomography. A CT scan is the same as a CAT scan. It uses x-rays and a computer to create a cross section image of the body showing bone, blood vessels and soft tissues. It is often used when looking for things like nodules, tumors, fractures, bone growths, blood clots and more. 


Over the last twenty years, the use of CT scans has skyrocketed. 

Environmental Health and Toxicology says, “The radiation exposure dose from a CT scan ranges between 100 times and 500 times that of a general radiology study, depending on the body part. Moreover, as more radiation in CT scans enhances the quality of the image, if the device operator lacks awareness of the risks of radiation exposure, he or she may apply a higher dose of radiation to obtain better image quality than is needed.”

The Journal of the American College of Surgeons reported they found the, “Study demonstrates the overuse of CT in the evaluation of complicated gallstone disease.” They reported the recommended way to check for gallstones is with ultrasound, as less invasive, and less expensive test. 

“Besides cost, there has been recent concern about increased radiation exposure due to indiscriminate use of diagnostic imaging. Radiation exposure as a result of diagnostic medical imaging has increased from 10% in 1980 to 50% in 2006,” they reported.

The Archives of Internal Medicine studied the dangers of CT scans and reported, “Radiation doses associated with commonly used CT examinations resemble doses received by individuals in whom an increased risk of cancer was documented. For example, an increased risk of cancer has been identified among long-term survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs who received exposures of 10–100 milliSieverts (mSv). A single CT scan can deliver an equivalent radiation exposure, and patients may receive multiple CT scans over time.”

They specifically found higher levels of radiation and more variable doses than originally reported. Thy also found the risk of cancer was higher. What was previously thought as the risk of cancer to be 1 in 2,000, showed the, “Risk of developing cancer of as high as 1 in 80.”

They found, “Efforts need to be undertaken to minimize radiation exposure from CT, including reducing unnecessary studies, reducing the dose per study, and reducing the variation in dose across patients and facilities.”

European Journal of Radiology Open reported DNA damage with CT scans.

The British Journal of Radiology reported a study which found using contrast during a CT amplified DNA damage but they concluded, “In the majority of cases the benefit will hopefully outweigh the risk.”

Environmental Health Perspectives said CT scans, “Can damage DNA and produce cancer should cells be unable to repair themselves.”

They then said, “Scientists can’t state conclusively that CT scans cause cancer until ongoing prospective studies of that link generate results. In the meantime, they estimate cancer outcomes using dose–response models derived from other radiation-exposed groups, such as atomic-bomb survivors and patients treated with radiation.”

The Journal of Radiation Research reported a stud which found, “A significant increase in dicentric chromosomes was observed in the lymphocytes from 10 pediatric patients <10 years old after a CT scan.” They concluded by raising awareness for genome instability from exposure.

The NIH did a study and found, “Childhood CT scans linked leukemia and brain cancer later in life.”

The Journal of American College and Cardiology, Cardiovascular Imaging did a study which found, “Patients exposed to radiation from cardiac CT had evidence of DNA damage, which was associated with programmed cell death and activation of genes involved in apoptosis and DNA repair.”

Antioxidants and Redox Signaling reported, “Without doubt, the fundamental reaction chemistry underlying acute radiation damage involves rapid and widespread oxidation events that play critical functions in tumor cell killing. In addition, indirect contributions from inflammation, changes in vasculature, growth factor signaling, cytokine expression, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other cellular responses have also been demonstrated to influence the overall outcome of radiation treatment in vivo. Many of these processes have an underlying mechanism of oxidative regulation and/or action.”

Intramural Research Program reported, “Researchers led by Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, D Phil., estimated that 29,000 future cancers could be related to CT scans performed in the U.S. in 2007 alone. They found that the largest contribution to cancer risk comes from the scans of the abdomen/pelvis, chest, head, and whole body.”

Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, Professor Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Policy, Obstetrics Gynecology and, Reproductive Sciences, Director of the Radiology Outcomes Research Lab at The University of California San Francisco calls radiation from medical imaging a Medical Epidemic.

Seventy-five million CT scans were reported in the US for 2009.

The next year, 2010, 80 million CT scans were done in the US. 

When you are at the doctor, it is important to remember you can say no. 

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. becky.nourishingplot@hotmail.com

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

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