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Risks of medical radiation may outweigh benefits

Radiation can reveal hidden medical conditions like broken bones, lung lesions or heart defects. It is also known to treat and cure some cancers. According to new research, medical professionals and patients are often unaware of the serious risks associated with radiation therapy. Patients in Denver, Colorado and nationwide should consider the potential risks as well as the benefits of radiation before pursuing treatment to prevent medical injury.

Some unnecessary tests expose patients to high dosages of radiation, which is known to damage DNA and can cause further medical injury. CT scans deliver 100 to 500 times the radiation associated with a normal X-ray and account for 1. 5 percent of new cancer cases in the United States. Medical experts are advocating for more careful consideration before administering tests that could be extremely harmful to patients.

Radiologists and other medical experts believe there is widespread overuse of radiation tests, despite the goal of balancing potential risks against known benefits. Ignoring potential risks means creating unnecessary medical costs and potentially exposing patients to harm. Doctors and patients should understand the full risks and benefits of radiation before undergoing a radiation-based procedure.

In some cases, the actual benefits of a test have not been proven scientifically.

Patients who suffered a medical injury due to overexposure or negligent exposure to radiation may be entitled to compensation. If you believe that you or someone you love suffered a medical injury because of radiation, an experienced attorney can collaborate with appropriate medical experts in the investigation of your case.

Source: New York Times, "Medical radiation soars with risks often overlooked," Jane E. Brody, Aug. 20, 2012

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