Cancer Risk From CAT Scans: Why You Shouldn't Worry

In the end, you should remember that in certain cases a CAT scan will be the best option to accurately diagnose your condition, provide immediate and lifesaving information, and get you on the road to treatment.

I have no doubt that CAT scans will remain very important diagnostic tools for many illnesses and injuries, including heart disease. They offer a highly detailed look inside a patient's body that cannot always be duplicated by other diagnostic tools.

But this study and others like it remind us that there are potential risks that need to be considered. We must continue an open dialogue -- patient to physician and physician to physician -- so that we can do our best to reliably diagnose disease without exposing patients to undue risk at the hands of our own diagnostic equipment.

Dr. Donald Frush is director of the division of pediatric radiology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

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