Maybe it is just one alarming assessment, but it is indeed a good standard procedure to consult patient's radiological history prior to an X-ray. At the very least, if it is your tenth one for your head or chest region, remind the doctor or nurse. They will pick the next best alternative, probably an MRI.
The actual study results were:
The researchers calculated that the additional radiation exposure (from medical X-ray tests) would increase a UK person's cumulative risk of developing cancer by the age of 75 by 0.6%.
A male already has about a 44% chance of developing cancer by age 75, so the decrease you would get by avoiding all X-rays would be negligable.http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/...From_Cancer.asp
Not everyone gets the same amount of radiation from X-rays.
There is a HUGE difference in the amount used for medical tests.
And most people will not ever have many of these high dose tests.
So, you are RIGHT to be concerned about the high dosage tests (barium enima, flouroscope, CT scan etc)
Your worry is a tad misplaced for the very low dose X-rays used for broken bones and teeth for which they report "negligible risk". (equiv to a couple of days of normal background exposure)
From the UK Health Protection Agencyhttp://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebSta...C/1195733826941
Similarly you should realize that we are talking about lifetime exposures.
Once you hit about 50 or 60 you can almost completely forget this, since the lifetime exposure is no longer a significant issue.
Where one should be MOST concerned is high dosage radiation to pregnant mothers, infants and young children.