X-ray German doctors too often?

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Increased radiation exposure due to frequent X-rays? Around 2,000 people develop cancer each year through the use of radiation technology.

(11.07.2010) Around 140 million x-rays of patients are taken each year. Only in Japan is X-rays more frequent than in Germany. This places Germany in second place. But x-rays expose the human body to radiation, which can also lead to cancer. "The inhibition threshold for using X-ray diagnostics is low," said radiologist Prof. Joachim Berkefeld from the University Clinic in Frankfurt am Main to the magazine "Apotheken Umschau".

In medicine, the X-ray procedure is used to determine abnormalities in the body that enable diagnosis in connection with symptoms, signs and possibly other examinations. This procedure is called X-ray diagnosis. Depending on the procedure and region of the body, tube voltages between 25–35 kV and in mammography around 38 and 120 kV are used. Every year, several billion x-ray images are made worldwide using radiation technology.

Experts assume that 2,000 cancers will be triggered in Germany as a result of radiation technology. Doctors increasingly want to protect themselves and often use the X-ray procedure unnecessarily. Prof Berkefeld therefore advises that the need for X-rays should always be carefully checked by the responsible doctor in order to avoid unnecessary images and thus unnecessary radiation exposure.

Not only has the use of X-ray technology increased, but also the use of computer tomography (CT). This procedure also exposes patients to high radiation doses. In early October last year, radiologist Christoph Heyer, who worked at Bochum University Clinic, warned of the health risks of the CT procedure in an interview with the "Stern". Heyer explained that referring doctors know too little about radiation exposure. One study showed that only 26 percent of pediatricians are aware of the relationship between radiation exposure and gait-like tumors. According to his statements in Germany, the proportion of radiation exposure from CT devices is now over 50%, although the CT examinations only make up 8 percent.

Experts repeatedly point out that many CT examinations are unnecessary because ultrasound or nuclear spin (MRI) examinations of internal organs and their changes also provide satisfactory diagnoses.
If you suspect broken bones, special tumors, lung diseases or other injuries, X-ray examinations are also completely sufficient. (sb, tf)

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