Broad levels of risk for common x-ray examinations and isotope scans

X-ray examination (Nuclear medicine or isotope scan) Equivalent period of natural background radiation Lifetime additional risk of cancer per examination*
Chest / teeth / arms and legs / hands and feetA few daysNegligible risk: less than 1 in 1,000,000
Skull / head / neckA few weeksMinimal risk: 1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 100,000
Breast (mammography) / hip / spine / abdomen / pelvis / CT scan of head / lung isotope scan / kidney isotope scanA few months to a yearVery low risk: 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 10,000
Kidneys and bladder (IVU) / stomach - barium meal / colon - barium enema / CT scan of chest / CT scan of abdomen / bone isotope scanA few yearsLow risk: 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1,000

* These risk levels represent very small additions to the 1 in 3 chances we all have of getting cancer

If you would like further information, please speak to one of our Dental Clinicians or visit the website.

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