The use of CT in the US has been increasing exponentially over the past decade. The greatest increases in CT use have been in pediatric diagnosis and adult screening. Unfortunately, there is little cognizance among health-care providers (or their patients) about the relative latent cancer risks associated with repetitive exposure to ionizing radiation. Given the exposure of a relatively high proportion of the population to these tests, it is incumbent on health-care providers to have an improved understanding of these risks and discuss them accordingly with their patients. The risks and benefits of these tests should be carefully analyzed and radiation exposure risk assessment should be conducted as part of the selection of diagnostic and screening tests. Appropriate discussion between physicians and patients of the risks associated with radiographic studies is warranted to inform patients of the longitudinal risks of subsequent testing.
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