Radiation in Medical
Imaging: The risks and effects
Oregon Institute of
The effects of Radiation
Radiation used in medical imaging is dangerous yet so
important in helping doctors diagnose health problems and diseases within patients.
Radiation used during X-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy’s, etc., help the doctors
see inside the body without surgery or invasion. I currently work as a
transporter in the radiology department so I am constantly working around radiation.
I want to research the short and long term effects of radiation to the human
body. More specifically, does radiation directly cause cancer?
To guide my research, I scanned for articles pertaining to
the effects of radiation and also articles discussing the development of cancer
due to the various imaging procedures that use powerful radiation. The
questions I want answered are: (1) What are the short and long term effects of
radiation? (2) Does radiation exposure guarantee some type of cancer, if so,
how much exposure in doses? I plan to explore three points of view: doctors,
patients and also imaging technologist (or people around radiation like
Ionizing radiation (used during X-rays, Computed Tomography
scans, etc.,) is extremely beneficial to doctors and patients when diagnosing particular
health issues. The health hazards are debatable due to the fact that radiation
is dangerous to the human body and yet one of the only ways to see inside to
body to diagnose the actual problem. Most doctors say the benefits of an
imaging scan outweigh the risk of radiation exposure. That is what I am here to
find out and further investigate.
I work in the radiology department within a hospital which
places me around radiation daily. Although I am trained to shield, create
distance and protect myself during every scan, I am exposed to radiation
routinely. To what extent is radiation harmful? Are there better ways to protect
myself from the effects of radiation and minimize my chances of getting cancer?
Cancer is a fatal disease with expensive “cures” or no cure at all which is why
it is important to research the impacts of the radiation. I want to explore how
and when it is dangerous for the patients or medical personnel. I am highly
interested in knowing everything about this topic as medical imaging is my
chosen field of study. If the link between radiation in imaging and cancer is built, the researchers and scientists will
need to find better ways to protect the patients and imaging technologists who
are dedicated to helping patients become well.
Brambilla, M., De Mauri, A., Leva, L., Carriero, A.,
& Picano, E. (2013). Cumulative radiation dose from medical imaging in
chronic adult patients. The American Journal of Medicine, 126(6),
The authors assess the risks of cancer and ionizing
radiation for diagnostic and treatment purposes. The journal assesses the
impact of radiation, short and long term, on the patients with cardiac arrest,
kidney failure, and bowel inflammatory disease. The study uses systematic
review from the existing literature that focuses on the four chronic diseases. As
a result, radiation had a serious effect on patients with certain problems such
as kidney disease. It does not severely affect the patients with cardiac and
inflammatory bowel disease.
This journal serves my purpose of looking at the
quantity of radiation that might be harmful to the patients. The authors of
this journal have PhD’s and belong to the Medical Physics Department and University
hospital in Novara, Italy, making them credible to discuss the topic at hand. This
authentic source was published in 2013 which is recent to serve my purpose of
exploring the effects of radiation and induction of cancer.
Gerber, T. C., Carr, J. J., Arai, A. E., Dixon, R. L.,
Ferrari, V. A., Gomes, A. S., Mettler, F. A. (2009). Ionizing radiation in
cardiac imaging. Circulation, 119(7), 1056–1065.
This article focuses on the ionizing radiation and its
impact on cardiac patients. There are three primary components when making
informative decisions regarding the use of radiation in medical imaging: 1)
Knowledge of the uncertainties concerning patient dosage and biological risk. 2)
A comparison of risks between radiation exposure and everyday activities. 3)
Recognition of potential risks when either failing to make diagnosis or
treatment options if imaging isn’t performed due to safety concerns.
This article is a reliable source as the authors use
systematic review methods to select and analyze articles on the topic of ionizing radiation. After three years of
intense studying and analyzing the available data from the past, the article
was published in 2009. This source is relevant to my topic because it answers
questions posed about the exposure of radiation and how it might have adverse
impacts more than other forms of radiation.
Hendee, W. R., & O’Connor, M. K. (2012). Radiation
risks of medical imaging: separating fact from fantasy. Radiology, 264(2),
The authors of this article study the risk factors of radiation
during imaging scans. The study is based on several others studies and reports
that focus on the impact of radiation on the patients. Significant results of
the study show that the radiation causes cancer among 15 children who have
undergone multiple CT scans for various reasons; this induces leukemia and
other brain cancers. The study also compares the effects of the bombing in
Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the induced health problems from the radiation. Furthermore,
the article defines the threshold of 100mSv for the amount of radiation harmful
enough to cause cancer.
This article uses scholarly resources, reports and various
studies to prove the harmful effects of radiation. The authors hold PhD’s from
the Department of Radiology which makes them very credible to touch on this
topic. Published in 2012, this article examines the dangers or radiation on
children and how it can potentially cause cancer, which directly relates to my
topic at hand.
Huda, W. (2015). Radiation risks: what is to be done? American
Journal of Roentgenology, 204(1), 124–127.
Radiation exposure can be extremely dangerous during a
diagnostic imaging screening. Fortunately, radiation protection in medical
imaging has advanced and by following two simple principles, the amount of
radiation can be drastically reduced. These principles are straightforward to
implement and should be a part of every healthcare facility. Patient
examinations need to be justified by a net patient benefit, and unnecessary
radiation should be eliminated. This article discusses what is currently known
about radiologic risks, policies that should be adopted based on our current
knowledge, and how these policies can
be applied to adequately protect patients in everyday practice.
After using different methods
to prove this articles credibility, the findings were impressive. Over thirty-
five additional sources were used to write this article. Five people were
brought into discussion and many brilliant opinions were shared. This article
is incredibly informative and uses textual evidence as well as personal
opinion. Recently published, in 2015, verifies that this article is up to date.
risks: What is to be done? passes the
CRAAP test and the American Journal of Roentgenology passed the Scimago Journal and Country Rank
test. Many people have used and cited this article and I feel very comfortable
using this source for the remainder of the term.
Lin, E. C. (2010). Radiation risk from medical
imaging. Mayo Clinic Proceedings (1142–1146). Elsevier.
The author of this article evaluates the risks within
medical imaging. The article focuses on the specific imaging modalities and
addresses various radiation doses that might cause cancer and pose as a risk
for the patients. Also included is review of existing tests and reports. What
is unique about this article is that it incorporates the doctor’s point of view
as well as the growing concerns of the patients, in regards to the risks of
cancer. The article also discusses the recent changes that have been
implemented concerning high risk radiation doses.
The article was published in 2010 by an author who is
a Medical Doctor from the Department of Radiology in Virginia. This accreditation
makes him an expert in the field of radiation and I feel confident reading and
researching his work. The article is a review of cancer risks related to the
radiation from various imaging modalities. Passing the CRAAP test, this is a
credible and relevant source for my research.