We advise being exposed to the least amount of radiation as possible because high levels of radiation can cause cancer. However, some tests are of great importance and the risk from radiation exposure is justified because the benefit of proper treatment of heart disease and prevention of heart attacks is so much greater. A nuclear stress test is an example of a benefit being much greater than the risk. We are all exposed to radiation throughout our daily life – from the sun, from materials inside our house, from air travel, from foods, just to name a few sources. Although it has NEVER been proven, I can estimate that the risk of developing cancer from a nuclear stress test is extremely small and similar to the exposure we get from our daily life activities, on the order of 0.01% (or 1 in 10,000). On the other hand, if we are recommending this test, your risk for a heart attack or other severe heart disease is at LEAST 10% and may be as high as 90%, so the benefit of diagnosing heart disease greatly outweighs any risk!