A recent survey conducted in the US has revealed that over half ofthe people that were undergoing medical scans such as X-Rays had no cluewhether or not they were exposed to radiations and still had questions thatremained unanswered even though they were on the verge of subjecting themselvesto these tests.

The study authors wrote in the Journal of the American College of Radiology that several studieshave already established that the more informed people are, the betterdecisions they make and the less anxiety they experience, all the whilerecording an increased satisfaction with their treatment.

Dr. Andrew Rosenkrantz, lead author, claims that although a largenumber of medical scans is performed yearly in the US, the majority of patientsare not informed about what the tests entail and the possible dangers thatmight occur.

The study, in which 176 patients participated, focused on theirknowledge of which medical scans involve radiation and which do not. They hadto choose between CT, nuclear medicine scans, MRI and ultrasounds. The resultswere staggering, as only 46% of the people questioned correctly identified thetests which involved the use of radiation.

It appears that, although 78% of the participants claimed that thedoctor explained the procedure they were about to undergo, only 72% understoodthe explanations. One in five patients had rather used the web to learn aboutthe exam, or asked friends and family.

Although there are many benefits of medical testing, exposingyourself to radiation can potentially increase the risk of getting cancer,which is why the proper information of the public in this respect is crucialand there should be a better doctor-patient communication.

Patients are advised to seek answers from their doctors and notundergo such procedures until they know the whole picture - what they entail,the risks, or any possible alternatives, and not go through with it while stillhaving unanswered questions. Patients may be subjecting themselves to major health risks without being aware of itand this lack of proper information can easily be avoided by discussing openly.

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