August 26, 2009 --
Medical screening tests can help save lives, but could these same tests also be putting people at risk? A new study looks at the repeated use of tests such as mammograms, cat scans and certain heart tests. And what researchers are finding is that as many as two-thirds of US adults have had medical tests exposing them to radiation and a potentially higher risk of cancer.
According to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine, these tests are now exposing people to twice as much radiation had they not had them.
The tests can help doctors better diagnose fatal conditions. But researchers say the risks still need to be considered when deciding whether or not they are truly needed to make a diagnosis.