To help correct the problem, the Radiological Society of North America recently called for a new plan to limit and track radiation exposure from imaging tests. Until that system is in place, here are few things you can do:
1. Learn about the risks. Go to RadiologyInfo.org for details about radiation doses from common imaging tests.
2. Ask about alternatives. Before you undergo any imaging test involving X-rays, ask if it’s really necessary or if there are any alternatives. And make sure your doctor knows about other tests you have had, so you can both determine whether the risk of the additional exposure is worthwhile.
3. Avoid duplicate tests. Make sure that medical records travel with you to different departments and facilities, so that tests aren’t unnecessarily repeated.