Study: Too many x-rays increase cancer risk

May 29, 2008 2:11:36 PM PDT
Long-term build up of radiation resulting from repeated emergency room x-rays and scans may be placing some patients at an increased risk for developing cancer, according to a new study presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Meeting.

At issue are those routine procedures currently in widespread use in hospitals across the US that emit a certain degree of ionizing radiation. That includes standard x-rays and more sophisticated CT scans as well as nuclear medicine screenings.

MRIs and ultrasounds do not use any radiation and are not the subject of this study.

Authors say today's diagnostic testing is not without potential risks and doctors should consider a patents history before ordering them.