BCBS Educational Initiative
June 29, 2005
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has released a report that indicates that low levels of ionizing radiation may cause harm. The report has generated considerable media interest, and your referring physicians and patients may ask you questions about it. You can access the NAS press release as well as a report brief at www.nas.edu.
“This report suggests that there is a very small risk for the development of cancer in a patient’s lifetime when exposed to low-level radiation such as that used in diagnostic radiology procedures,” said Dr. Bruce McClennan, president of the American Roentgen Ray Society. “The risk of any medical procedure deserves our careful attention. Diagnostic radiology tests should only be performed when medically necessary. Screening tests, such as mammography, should only be done when the benefits outweigh the risk. Radiologists are trained in the use of medical radiation and committed to ALARA [as low as reasonably possible] dosing as a guiding principle for administering X-rays for necessary tests. Patients should consult with their doctors and seek board certified radiologists for the performance and interpretation of examinations that require X-rays,” he said.
– Keri J. Sperry
Director of Communications/Development, ARRS