How Much Radiation Is Safe?

March 03, 2005
Volume 02    |   Issue 4

Suddenly, radiation is in the news again. There?s a hot debate about how safe it is. Most recently, the questions arose from several studies. One examined the safety of using full-body CT-scan screening. The other looked at the appropriateness of radiation treatment for breast cancer. In both cases, researchers are saying what I?ve been telling you through my newsletter for years:
Radiation can be more harmful than helpful.

Radiation is cumulative, so all the dental x-rays you had as a child that gave off more radiation exposure than present-day equipment, get lumped together with chest x-rays, radiation from long plane trips, and the popular full-body scans. Here?s the problem: You get more than half the radiation from one full-body scan as people who were exposed to the atomic bomb - and they got cancer!

Now, I?m not suggesting that you never get a full-body CT scan. One could save your life if you?re at high risk for heart disease. But getting one every year could severely compromise your health.

The same is true with radiation after breast-cancer surgery. Radiation therapy, especially when combined with natural substances, such as modified citrus pectin (MCP), saves lives. But if you?re an older woman who had a small tumor removed by lumpectomy, the risk for radiation exposure might outweigh your benefits.

So what?s the bottom line: No amount of radiation is safe. Our bodies don?t excrete radiation. It builds up in our bodies and can harm us when levels get high. Use radiation treatments and full-body scans only when necessary. For more information on CT scans, read my article, "Whole Body Scans: Should You Get One?" It?s available to subscribers through my website. You can also get more information on MCP, including dosages and where to find it, on the website.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


Brenner, D.J. and Elliston, C.D. Radiology, September 2004; vol

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232: pp 735-738. David J. Brenner, PhD, professor, radiation oncology
and public health, and director, Center for Radiological Research,
Columbia University, New York. James P. Borgstede, MD, chairman,
board of chancellors, American College of Radiology and clinical
professor, University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver.
Richard L. Morin, PhD, chairman of the commission on medical physics,
American College of Radiology; medical physicist, Mayo Clinic,
Jacksonville, Fla.

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