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One Easy and Important Step You Can Take
Toward Avoiding Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease:
An Affordable Summary of New Evidence about X-Rays.

By Egan O'Connor, Editor of CNR Books. February 2000.

          dot7  -You can improve your chance of avoiding Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease by avoiding unnecessarily high doses of x-rays (medical and dental).

          dot7  -The undeniable benefits of x-ray procedures can be obtained, demonstrably, at much lower doses than the doses commonly in use today. (See Radiation from Medical Procedures (RMP), Chapter 1, Part 9, Every Benefit of Medical Radiation: Same Procedures, Lower Dose-Levels, pp.17-18.)

          dot7  -The task is to convince x-ray-givers that it is important to reduce their x-ray doses because you care --- even if some of them presently think that it is silly to care. (For a common comparison between x-rays and airplane trips see Are X-Ray Procedures Equivalent, in Extra Radiation Dose, To Taking an Airplane Trip?.)

          dot7  -What can convince x-ray-givers? For the first time, you can give your x-ray-givers the professional and affordable 32-page Executive Summary from the 699-page scientific study entitled Radiation from Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease, which was published in November 1999. The Executive Summary of RMP (Radiation from Medical Procedures) makes it unnecessary for you to argue with a physician, dentist, or x-ray technologist:

          dot7  -"This document explains why I want the lowest possible doses and why I want the actual entrance doses measured during my exam --- not calculated from a book --- and why I want the measured doses recorded in my medical record." If the x-ray-giver starts to argue that the hazard is trivial, you need only reply that the booklet is the best way for him/her to understand the brand new evidence and the basis of your concern about unmeasured x-ray doses.

          dot7  -On the first tries, you will fail to get a measured dose, because almost no facility will have the devices for measurement on hand. But at least the x-ray-giver will be on notice that he/she needs to take special care with your exam. That is "One Easy and Important Step" to help yourself avoid Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease. We will make additional suggestions in the future.

          dot7  -If patients will put a million copies of this booklet into the hands of x-ray-givers, while asking for measured and recorded x-ray doses, then x-ray-givers will recognize that doses matter to patients and that x-ray-givers need to offer credible evidence of the specific doses they give you. Measurements are the key to achieving lower doses. Only measurements can reveal progress or failure.

          dot7  -You cannot predict when someone in your family may need x-rays. Every year in the USA (where the population is now 270 million people), about 200 million medical x-ray exams, plus about 100 million dental x-ray exams, are taken by patients. The source for these figures is the 1993 report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR 1993).

          dot7  -Families who want to receive the benefits of x-rays, without receiving an unnecessarily high chance of x-ray-induced Cancer or Coronary Heart Disease, will have copies of the Executive Summary of RMP at home --- ready for delivery during their next medical and dental appointments.

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