Doctors are now being advised to avoid unnecessary X-rays and keep radiation doses as low as possible. But patients can help to protect themselves, the report states. It advises patients to keep notes of when X-rays are done (since hospital records are often lost), ensure that their GP knows of any recent X-ray, tell doctors if they are pregnant, and ask GPs if they are using the Royal College of Radiologists guidelines.
PATIENTS referred to hospital for an X-ray should ask if it is strictly necessary, and whether their ovaries or testicles are being protected, a new report from the Consumers' Association advises. It points out that although the risk is small, in 1990 X-rays were estimated to have caused between 100 and 250 of the 160,000 deaths from cancer annually.