The founder of PET/CT at Las Colinas discusses the risks and how to avoid them.
Irving, TX – Computed tomography scans, or CT scans for short have become a gold standard in diagnostic imaging. By offering healthcare providers a way to “see” inside the body by creating three-dimensional images that involve the use of hundreds of X-rays taken all at once, this test enables safer, more rapid diagnosis of conditions that once often required surgery to confirm. Considered a much less invasive way to diagnose and stage disease, the popularity of this test is high and remains so because of its benefits.
CT scans, however, do involve a dose of radiation, which is a known cancer causer. This has raised questions about the potential safety of this testing procedure. Some wonder if the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
“Research has shown that CT scans, when used in moderation, pose very little risk to patients,” says Dr. Gregory Echt, founder of PET/CT of Las Colinas. “The benefits of being able to avoid potentially invasive diagnostic procedures far outweigh the slight risk associated with a small amount of radiation exposure.”
The National Cancer Institute estimates the risk of developing cancer from a scan is only about 1 in 2,000. That means those who are asked to report for a CT scan to diagnose a disease, such as cancer, will find the test poses no real threat. Danger, however, is present when CT scans are used repeatedly or without justifiable cause. This is especially so if other procedures, such as a MRI or ultrasound, might provide the necessary information without exposing patients to radiation in the process.
“When CT scans are used appropriately, they deliver valuable, potentially life-saving information,” Dr. Echt says. “The key lies in making certain that the CT is the most appropriate test to use and that other diagnostic tools wouldn’t offer the same information.”
Patients who are asked to report for a CT scan will find the procedure is fast and involves no discomfort. The bottom line is that this test, when used appropriately, provides highly valuable insights to help doctors diagnose and treat disease and other conditions. If there are concerns about CT use, patients are urged to talk about all diagnostic options with their healthcare providers.
About PET/CT of Las Colinas
PET/CT of Las Colinas is dedicated to the care and wellbeing of our patients. We understand that the foundation of a successful treatment plan – or a clean bill of health – begins with sophisticated, accurate imagery. We look forward to providing you with the highest level of care.Our imaging center is located conveniently across the highway from the Las Colinas Medical Center within the Las Colinas Cancer Center on Highway 161 in Irving, TX. and – once here – we offer hassle-free curbside parking.