New technology reduces radiation exposure

We know too much radiation isn't good for your health.

But sometimes you just can't avoid it, like when your doctor orders an x-ray.

There's now new technology that's making the whole process a lot safer.

Eileen O'Conner-Liebman survived colon cancer several years ago and as a precaution needs to get a cat scan on a regular basis.

"Every six months you know you have to get your labwork, your CT scan and you want to use due diligence because you don't want to go any longer than that because if there is an issue you want to be on the mark to be able to prevent anything."

The frequent exposure to radiation is something Eileen wishes she could avoid.

But thanks to a new low dose CT scanner at Howard Radiology in Columbia, she now receives up to 60 percent less radiation than traditional scanners.

Dr. Elizabeth Hartman says, "This is important because a cat scan gives patients the equivalent radiation dose of about 500 to 700 x-rays so when you can reduce the radiation exposure to patients by 50 to 60 percent, it's a big deal."

Aside from the obvious benefits, the new CT scanner has improved technology as well.

Dr. Hartman says, "This gives us images that are a lot clearer than traditional scanners, it scans faster than traditional scanners and patients don't have to hold their breath as long."

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