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If you’re like most people, you’ll probably do some online research before you have any sort of medical imaging performed. While you might trust your doctor and the information they convey to you, there are always questions that come up after you’ve left the doctor’s office.

Your first inclination might be to head to the internet and look up more information about the diagnostic imaging procedure at hand. If you land at a reputable site, you’re very likely to get true information. Unfortunately, there are many disreputable sites out there giving false information — either knowingly or unknowingly — about medical imaging. Today we’re going to take a look at a few of the most common myths out there.

MYTH: Any Amount of Radiation Is Harmful

Ever since the development of the atomic bomb and the rise of nuclear power, the word radiation has been a word to be feared in the public mind. But it’s important to remember that radiation comes in many forms. Light and heat from a candle are types of radiation, but if you don’t touch the candle flame, you don’t have much to fear. Television and radio waves are also forms of radiation, and people have been living among those for decades with no ill effects. (Natural radio waves from space have been bombarding humans for as long as there have been humans.)

When people fear radiation, they are often talking about ionizing radiation. Common examples include gamma rays, x-rays, and UV rays. But just as you should limit your exposure to UV rays from the sun in order to avoid skin cancer, the level of x-rays you absorb should also be limited. Diagnostic imaging has greatly improved over the years, reducing the amount of radiation necessary to get the job done.

Not all forms of x-ray imaging use the same level of ionizing radiation, and some deliver less radiation that you get from simply walking down the street! The entire planet exhibits background radiation due to the naturally occurring radioactive elements breaking down in the soil. This amount of radioactivity is not harmful, and in many cases the levels you’ll receive during medical imaging are less than standard background radiation.

MYTH: The Costs Aren’t Justified

We understand that people often get sticker shock when they see the prices their insurance companies are paying for diagnostic imaging. The first thought that many clients have is “I can’t believe medical imaging costs so much. They must be making a fortune!”

As you might expect, diagnostic imaging equipment costs a lot of money, but you might not realize just how much. MRI machines cost between $150,000 and a $1 million, with some reaching $3 million. That cost doesn’t include the MRI suite in which it’s held, the upkeep of the machine and the ultra-cold materials used within it, the energy used to run it, or the cost of the technician to perform the scan and interpret the results. Medical imaging is expensive for a reason, and it can be life-saving.

And speaking of MRI costs...

MYTH: You Have To Have Insurance To Get Diagnostic Imaging

Some people who don’t have insurance believe that they have no means of getting diagnostic imaging performed, but that's not the case. While we take most insurance plans, it’s possible to pay out of pocket for scans...and the prices might not be as bad as you think. Click this link to find out the cost of medical imaging in Fair Lawn. (Prices subject to change, of course.)

Get The Truth About Medical Imaging

If you want the truth about diagnostic imaging, it’s important to go to the source. Discuss it with your doctor, or give us a call to find out more about medical imaging in Fair Lawn.