updated 11/28/2007 5:54:17 PM ET 2007-11-28T22:54:17

Some experts recommend that people keep a diary of any tests they or their children get involving radiation, because risk accumulates over a lifetime. Here are questions for any doctor who recommends a computed tomography, or CT scan:

  • How will my medical care be affected by the results? Will the scan determine my treatment?
  • What about alternatives like ultrasound or MRIs?
  • How about just waiting? What are the risks of not doing the test?
  • Does any research show this test will help me or lessen my chances of dying?
  • Is this being done to diagnose a specific problem? (CT scans for people with no symptoms are not recommended).
  • Is more than one scan truly necessary?
  • Is the facility accredited by the American College of Radiology?
  • What is being done to make sure I receive the lowest possible radiation dose?
  • Does this center regularly do scans on children and follow guidelines for adjusting doses to reduce radiation?

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