Looking into future: challenges in radiation protection in medicine.
Radiation protection in medicine is becoming more and more important with increasing wider use of X-rays, documentation of effects besides the potential for long-term carcinogenic effects. With computed tomography (CT) likely to become sub-mSv in coming years, positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and some of the nuclear medical examination will become focus of attraction as high-dose examinations, even though they are less-frequent ones. Clarity will be needed on radiation effects at levels of radiation doses encountered in a couple of CT scans and if effects are really cumulative. There is challenge to develop radiation metrics that can be used as easily as units of temperature and length and avoidance of multiple meaning of a single dose metric. Other challenges include development of biological indicators of radiation dose, transition from dose to a representative phantom to dose to individual patient, system for tracking of radiation exposure history of patient, avoidance of radiation-induced skin injury in patients and radiation cataract in staff, cutting down inappropriate referrals for radiological examinations, confidence building in patient and patient safety in radiotherapy.
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