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Radiation offers new cures, and ways to do harm

New York Times, January 25, 2010

Americans today receive far more medical radiation than ever before. The average lifetime dose of diagnostic radiation has increased sevenfold since 1980, and more than half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Radiation saves countless lives, and serious accidents are rare. But patients often know little about the harm that can result when safety rules are violated and ever more powerful and technologically complex machines go awry, the New York Times reports.