Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

That's a little disconcerting

USATODAY.com - Study stirs debate over full-body scans' cancer risk

I'm not one to rush into the full-body scan fad, but I can see how it would give a sense of taking control by proactively checking the body thoroughly before something insidious can produce clinical signs.

Now one study is saying that the amount of radiation in a full-body scan is about the same exposure suffered by people a mile and a half from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with a potential to increase your cancer risk. (For an otherwise healthy 45-year-old, it puts it as 1 in 1200 people).

Studies are just that, of course. I'm not sure, with a cancer rate of 1 in 5, how to determine whether cancer came from this form of exposure or not. But, medical science traditionally tries to perform procedures whose risk is warranted because of a known factor, as opposed to putting otherwise healthy people at risk for 'peace of mind'. It's certainly something to consider.

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