Use of radiation in medicine

Growth of CT scanning

In Australia the average dose received by members of the public from the diagnostic use of ionising radiation is approximately 2 mSv per annum. The largest contributor to this medical irradiation is now the use of CT scans which accounts for perhaps greater than 50% of the total in Australia, and the number of CT scans performed annually has risen since the introduction of this modality in the 1980s. To illustrate the general trend, the adjacent graph "Annual No.CT Scans (millions)" shows scaled US data from the US (1980 to 2006) combined with data from Australia (all MBS claimed CTs; 1997 to 2020)*.


It has been estimated that 430 people die from cancer each year in Australia as a result of exposure to diagnostic x-rays**. .

*US data from Brenner and Hall (2007), Aus data from Medicare.

** Berrington de Gonzalez, A. and S. Darby (2004),
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