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Reducing Your Radiation Exposure

Regional_Medical_Imaging_Reduce_Radiation_Exposure_Photo1It’s a fact: Exposure to too much radiation increases the risk of getting cancer.

Many Americans have started to worry about the amount of radiation they receive from their cell phones, microwaves, power lines and even airport scanners. But what about radiation from medical tests, such as x-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy and nuclear medicine?

Individually, x-rays, CT scans and other diagnostic imaging tests don’t pose much risk. But radiation accumulates—which means over the course of a lifetime, repeated exposure to radiation adds up.

In fact, Americans get more radiation from medical tests than people in any other country in the world. In the last few decades, the use of CT scans has risen significantly, often replacing diagnostic imaging tests that don’t require radiation, such as ultrasounds and MRIs. As a result of this and other factors, our exposure to radiation has increased.

Helping to protect patients at Providence Regional

Our new Diagnostic Imaging center in the new Cymbaluk Medical Tower contains some of the most state-of-the-art equipment available—including the world’s first CT scanner to provide high-definition images while using ultra-low doses of radiation. In fact, $25 million was invested just in imaging equipment.

Dozens of other leading edge machines—including x-ray, nuclear medicine, interventional radiology and more—take images using lower doses of radiation, and take images more quickly than in the past—which means patients are exposed to radiation for shorter periods of time.

Innovative tables, ceiling-mount systems and accessories in the new imaging center will also make the machines more precise and faster to operate—as well as more comfortable for patients.

Our new imaging center not only contains advanced equipment, it’s designed around the convenience, comfort and privacy of patients and their families—whether those patients are staying in the hospital or just coming to Providence Regional for a quick scan or x-ray. Learn more about the new Imaging Services center.

Other tips

To decrease your risk of accumulating too much radiation:

  • Keep records of when you received medical imaging and what it was. If possible, ask for copies of the images and information on the radiation dose. If you see a different doctor or healthcare provider in the future, you may find sharing this information useful.
  • Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about any questions or concerns you have when new imaging tests are ordered