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How much radiation do you get from a CT scan?

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CT scans use X-rays, which are a type of radiation called ionizing radiation. It can damage the DNA in your cells and raise the chance that they'll turn cancerous.

These scans expose you to more radiation than other imaging tests, like X-rays and mammograms. For example, one chest CT scan delivers the amount in 100 to 200 X-rays. That might sound like a lot, but the total amount you get is still very small. The risk is very low and there are steps that help manage that risk.

From: Can CT Scans Lead to Cancer? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Can I avoid exposure to radiation from x-rays and gamma rays?"

FDA: "What are the Radiation Risks from CT?"

Mayo Clinic: "CT scan: Definition," "CT scan: Why it's done," "Tests and Procedures: CT Scan."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Scan Safety: A Radiation Reality Check."

National Cancer Institute: "Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Cancer," "Radiation."

Radiological Society of North America: "I've had many CT scans. Should I be concerned?"

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 27, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Can I avoid exposure to radiation from x-rays and gamma rays?"

FDA: "What are the Radiation Risks from CT?"

Mayo Clinic: "CT scan: Definition," "CT scan: Why it's done," "Tests and Procedures: CT Scan."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Scan Safety: A Radiation Reality Check."

National Cancer Institute: "Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Cancer," "Radiation."

Radiological Society of North America: "I've had many CT scans. Should I be concerned?"

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 27, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Does frequent computed tomography (CT) scans raises your chances of cancer?

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