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Self-Referral of Medical Imaging Exams a Primary Factor in Six-Fold Increase to Americans' Radiation Exposure From Scans Since 1980
Date:3/3/2009

RESTON, Va., March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) report stated that the U.S. population is now exposed to seven times more radiation each year from medical imaging exams than in 1980. The American College of Radiology (ACR), Society for Pediatric Radiology (SPR), Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), and the Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance (SCBT-MR) urge Americans, including elected officials and medical providers, to understand why this increase occurred, consider the report's information in its proper context, and support appropriate actions to help lower the radiation dose experienced each year from these exams.

"It is essential that this report not be interpreted solely as an increase in risk to the U.S. population without also carefully considering the tremendous and undeniable benefits of medical imaging. Patients must make these risk/benefit decisions regarding their imaging care based on all the facts available and in consultation with their doctors," said James H. Thrall, M.D., FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors.

"Medical imaging has revolutionized medicine and is undoubtedly saving and extending lives everyday. It is vitally important that patients do not put off needed imaging care based on this report which neither quantifies the associated health risks nor specifies the radiation protection actions that should be taken," said Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance President Sanjay Saini, M.D., MBA.

Why This Increase in Radiation Exposure Occurred:

Although the major reason for increased imaging utilization and the associated rise in radiation exposure is
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SOURCE American College of Radiology
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