Friday, March 12, 2010

Doctors may have given you too much X-ray

I've known this for years. Your doctor may have ordered too many X-ray's or CT scans on your body, increasing the risk of cancer, particularly leukemia, thyroid, and breast cancers. Children are at significantly higher risk, because (as a medical professional friend told me) their bone marrows are still developing. Next time when you visit your doctor, refuse or question the decision to take X-ray. Read Dr. Weil's latest article at

"doctors order all these scans not for medical reasons but to protect themselves from the ever-present threat of malpractice litigation... the owners of for-profit health care centers must use them [X-ray or CT scanners] a lot to recoup their investment."

Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do once the genes are already damaged by the X-rays.

CT's are much stronger X-rays, in case you don't know. For the dosage and their risk, see "Table: Average Radiation Doses Associated With Common Imaging Studies" at

(It needs an account, which is free.)

For your convenience, this is the interesting part of that article,

Table: Average Radiation Doses Associated With Common Imaging Studies

Diagnostic Examination, Effective Dose (mSv)

Chest (PA film), 0.02
Head, 0.07
Cervical spine, 0.3
Thoracic spine, 1.4
Lumbar spine 1.8
Abdomen, 0.53
Pelvis/hip, 0.83
Limbs/joints, 0.06
Upper GI, 3.6
Lower GI, 6.4
Screening mammogram, 0.13
Head, 2.0
Abdomen, 10.0
Chest, 20-40
Pulmonary angiography, 20-40
PET - CT, 25

Other interesting readings:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bitter Melon (苦瓜) Extract Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation

February 23, 2010, in Cancer Research (a journal of the American Association of Cancer Research)

News on Dr. Weil:

Abstract of the research article:
Full text:

This humble bitter melon (bitter gourd, 苦瓜, ku3 gua1) very popular in China is rarely found in grocery stores in the US. It's gratifying to see the medicinal effect scientifically tested and proved, not just for breast cancer prevention, but for diabetes control and AIDS. Since bitter melons are grown in the southern part of China, I wonder if more Chinese women in the north than the south are diagnozed with breast cancer.