One of the primary concerns for our patients is the radiation dosage that they will be subjected to upon receiving a CT scan. American Diagnostics Medical uses an ultra-low dose (also known as spiral scanning) to test for lung cancer and related pulmonary and cardiovascular complications. We use the latest technology of our 64-slice CT scanner to reduce the dosage and ensure the diagnostic scan is as safe as possible.
Now that we have the ability to conduct more advanced CT scans while using lower dosages than ever before, the benefits of being screened for cancer are clear.
What is ultra-low dose radiation?
- Ultra-low dose medical radiation entails using the lowest amount of dosage to obtain a diagnostics study. There has been a large medical initiative to reduce dosages to the lowest levels possible while still maintaining the ability to detect early stage cancers.
How is ultra-low dose radiation safer?
- A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that cancer risk may not be directly proportional to dosage at all levels. Mina Bissell, a prominent breast cancer researcher stated, “Our data shows that at lower doses of ionizing radiation, DNA repair mechanisms work much better than at higher doses. This non-linear DNA damage response casts doubt on the general assumption that any amount of ionizing radiation is harmful and additive.”
- In the past, the general consensus in the field (the linear no-threshold model) was that cancer risk increased as radiation dose increased, no matter how low the dose. Bissell, study leader Sylvain Costes and their colleagues found evidence that this may not be the case. When the dose is small enough to be considered low, DNA cells are able to repair themselves correctly and return to status quo without complications.
- Human beings have been exposed to low-dose levels of radiation for thousands of years in the form of background radiation (naturally occurring in the environment). This study indicates that low-dosages would be unlikely to lead to the adverse effects that were once believed to be unavoidable.
What are the advantages of ultra-low dose radiation scans?
- A study sponsored by the National Institute of Health concluded that there was a 20 percent decrease in lung cancer fatalities among former and current heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose CT scans versus those who were screened by chest x-ray.
- At ADM, we use our ultra-low dose CT scan technology to increase life expectancy and quality of life.
How low is our radiation dose at ADM?
- When you undergo a CT scan at American Diagnostics Medical the dose that you can expect to receive is far less than the average CT scan of the chest. The lowest dose in a single year that has been linked to cancer is 100 msv, meaning that you would need to undergo dozens of CT scans in one year at ADM to increase your risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
Millisieverts (msv) is a scientific measure of units of medical radiation delivered to the human body. It is the best and most accurate way to determine dosage.
If you would like to determine your annual dose of radiation, visit the American Nuclear Society’s radiation dose calculator.
For more helpful information on annual radiation dosage, visit XKCD.com/Radiation, an infographic compiled by former NASA roboticist Randall Munroe.