CT Scans May Cause Increase Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

New research highlights that the computed tomographic scanner used for CT scans may not be as safe as clinicians once thought.

According to an editorial in the Archives of Internal Medicine, over 72 million CT scans were performed in 2007. From those numbers, researchers project that there will be "29,000 excess cancers as a results of the CT scans done in 2007" which will appear in the next 20-30 years.

It is important to note that researchers found significant variations in radiation doses while conducting the study. There was a 13-fold difference between highest to lowest amounts of radiation admitted during CT scans.

Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc, author of the editorial writes "to avoid unnecessarily increasing cancer incidence in future years, every clinician must carefully assess the expected benefits of each CT scan and fully inform his or her patients of the known risks of radiation."

CT scans have allowed physicians to diagnose patients with the less "invasive" procedure than something like laparoscopic surgery.

Redberg further notes that patients should become more aware of the hazards associated with CT scans and discuss it with their doctors.