Scannell: The radiation risk posed when you undergo CT scans

It’s often said, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” But I’ve never understood the rationale behind that. In fact, as a doctor, I’d argue otherwise — that what you don’t know can harm you a great deal.

I’m thinking of this in light of recent studies concerning radiation exposure from medical imaging tests like computerized tomography (CT) scans. Many of us don’t know that we’re exposed to ionizing radiation when we undergo a CT scan, that ionizing radiation is a carcinogen or that data links an increased risk of cancer to low-level doses that are commonly used in CT imaging.

And while that increased risk may be small, it’s also cumulative over time — a concern for patients who receive multiple scans.

The benefits of CT scans in diagnosing disease and saving lives are indisputable. But, like any medical test or treatment, CT scans entail potential risks that should be balanced against expected benefits. Unfortunately, we’ve paid little attention to the radiation risks.

Putting the risk in perspective is difficult, considering the various yardsticks by which meaningful radiation exposure and cancer risks are measured. But, in broad terms, we can consider the constant background radiation from natural sources that we’re exposed to every day. While a chest X-ray exposes us to a 10-day dose of background radiation, a chest CT scan delivers about 2 years’ worth. And the average 3-year dose we get from a CT of the abdomen and pelvis more than doubles when the scan is repeated with and without contrast.

It’s important to remember that the increased cancer risk from a single CT scan remains low for most individuals. Still, the risk accumulates with additional scanning, and it constitutes an unnecessary risk if the scan isn’t medically necessary.

That latter point deserves underscoring because about 30 percent of CT scans performed in …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health


Bitcoin con artists charged with $51M investment scam

In Taipei, a group of Bitcoin con artists have been charged with running an elaborate cryptocurrency scam that defrauded local and foreign investors out of millions of dollars. Authorities formally charged a 47-year-old man surnamed Lin, along with six accomplices, with violating Taiwan‘s Banking and Multi-Level Marketing Supervision acts with a fake Bitcoin investment scam, reports FocusTaiwan. Since October 2016, police say Lin and co. attracted $51 million from over 1,000 Taiwanese investors. The scammers are also charged with defrauding citizens of neighbouring China. Their Ponzi scheme promised returns of up to 355 percent after just one year of Bitcoin investment.…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Bitcoin …read more

Source:: The Next Web – Technology


Zimbabwe reportedly turned off the entire country’s internet to shut up people protesting its out-of-control economy


Zimbabwe’s government has reportedly cut off the country’s internet, an effort to keep control of increasingly violent protests.
The largest internet provider in the country, Econet Wireless, told Zimbabwean media they cut off the internet on Friday after they were sent a “directive for total shutdown.”
The media group MISA-Zimbabwe said Zimbabwe was now in a “total internet shutdown.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s military forces have violently suppressed widespread protests triggered by a massive hike in fuel prices.
CNN reported that Zimbabwe is now the most expensive country in the world to fill a car.

The government of Zimbabwe has reportedly launched a “total internet shutdown” in the country to silence people protesting about its chaos-stricken economy.

Officials on Friday ordered Econet Wireless, the country’s largest internet provider, to shut down internet access until further notice, the provider told told Zimbabwe’s Times.

Eight protestors were killed on Monday in clashes between protestors and the military, caused by rising fuel prices linked to the policies of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa raised the price of fuel as he is trying to sort of the country’s woeful economy and currency hyperinflation.

Before the hike the government was effectively subsidising the price of fuel for its citizens, but now Mnangagwa has more than doubled the price to reflect the actual cost of fuel and to try to rebalance the books.

Econet Wireless told Zimbabwe’s Times: “We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice.”

The internet was also down Wednesday, under government pressure, the Guardian reported.

Zimbabwe’s Times said critics said the government “sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.”

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have launched a court case to stop the government’s internet shutdown, British broadcaster ITV reported.

Media company MISA-Zimbabwe said the country was …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Three Cabinet ministers have told their local parties: prepare for a general election

A shadow on the wall by a polling station.

A further six junior ministers have also asked their local parties to be ready for a contest.

At least nine government ministers, three of whoma re in the Cabinet, have instructed their constituency associations to prepare for an early election, the New Statesman has learnt. For of them named 24 February as the date.

In addition, a further two associations reported that speakers had suggested moving fundraising events to accommodate a possible contest.

One minister, who holds a marginal seat in the south, has already designed and written their election address, as has another with a safe seat in the south east; one north-east association has likewise been instructed to provide election material. All have been asked to expedite re-adoption procedures. (Under Tory party rules, sitting MPs face a vote of their local executive if they wish to continue on as the party’s candidate.)

One association chair was told that the only way to break the deadlock was an election, while another has been informed that, even should the withdrawal agreement pass, it will not be done so in a way that retains the support of the DUP, without which the Conservative party cannot continue to govern.

Although in theory the Fixed Term Parliaments Act takes the timing of an election out of the Prime Minister’s hands, in practice, should Theresa May request one it would be forthcoming as the opposition is bound to vote for it.

Photo: Getty …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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