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What Are the Risks of X-rays?

X-rays can help determine the necessary course of treatment and reveal if some hand xrayunderlying conditions might interfere with it. For example, patients often come to doctors of chiropractic after having suffered an injury. In many such cases, x-rays are necessary to exclude the possibility of more serious health problems. X-rays are also recommended in older patients—for example, to help detect the probability of osteoporosis—as well as in patients with a history of certain types of arthritis, potential for tumors or other conditions.

X-rays are colorless, odorless and tasteless, so you will not see, smell, or taste them. In
addition, you will feel nothing as they are taken. Since x-rays penetrate all matter to some degree, scientists have developed modern techniques and equipment that have minimized x-ray exposure.  Cole Pain Therapy Group’s digital x-ray machinery was inspected for safety after installation, and it must pass periodic state inspection. Your doctor will order only those x-rays that are absolutely necessary for your condition. We take standard precautions to protect your body from incidental radiation, using lead shields and aluminum filters when appropriate. Your doctor will inform you of the results of any x-ray examination as soon as possible. And don’t hesitate to ask questions during your examination and treatment. Your safety, comfort, and concerns are of paramount importance to your doctor.

The following chart from RadiologyInfo.org (developed by the Radiological Society of North America and the American College of Radiology) compares the average exposure of various types of test with the dose of background radiation- that which we get every day.

For this procedure:
* Your approximate effective radiation dose is:
Comparable to natural background radiation for:
** Additional lifetime risk of fatal cancer from examination:
ABDOMINAL REGION:
Computed Tomography (CT)-Abdomen and Pelvis
10 mSv
3 years
Low
Computed Tomography (CT)-Abdomen and Pelvis, repeated with and without contrast material
20 mSv
7 years
Moderate
Computed Tomography (CT)-Colonography
10 mSv
3 years
Low
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)
3 mSv
1 year
Low
Radiography (X-ray)-Lower GI Tract
8 mSv
3 years
Low
Radiography (X-ray)-Upper GI Tract
6 mSv
2 years
Low
BONE:
Radiography (X-ray)-Spine
1.5 mSv
6 months
Very Low
Radiography (X-ray)-Extremity
0.001 mSv
3 hours
Negligible
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM:
Computed Tomography (CT)-Head
2 mSv
8 months
Very Low
Computed Tomography (CT)-Head, repeated with and without contrast material
4 mSv
16 months
Low
Computed Tomography (CT)-Spine
6 mSv
2 years
Low
CHEST:
Computed Tomography (CT)-Chest
7 mSv
2 years
Low
Computed Tomography (CT)-Chest Low Dose
1.5 mSv
6 months
Very Low
Radiography-Chest
0.1 mSv
10 days
Minimal
DENTAL:
Intraoral X-ray
0.005 mSv
1 day
Negligible
HEART:
Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
12 mSv
4 years
Low
Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring
3 mSv
1 year
Low
MEN’S IMAGING:
Bone Densitometry (DEXA)
0.001 mSv
3 hours
Negligible
WOMEN’S IMAGING:
Bone Densitometry (DEXA)
0.001 mSv
3 hours
Negligible
Mammography
0.4 mSv
7 weeks
Very Low
Note for pediatric patients: Pediatric patients vary in size. Doses given to pediatric patients will vary significantly from those given to adults.
* The effective doses are typical values for an average-sized adult. The actual dose can vary substantially, depending on a person’s size as well as on differences in imaging practices.**
Legend:
Risk Level
Approximate additional risk of fatal cancer for an adult from examination:
Negligible:
less than 1 in 1,000,000
Minimal:
1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 100,000
Very Low:
1 in 100,000 to 1 in 10,000
Low:
1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1000
Moderate:
1 in 1000 to 1 in 500
Note: These risk levels represent very small additions to the 1 in 5 chance we all have of dying from cancer.

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