CT-Scans Cause Brain Cancer, Leukemia

ct-scans and leukemia

Image: National Cancer Institute

According to a new study funded by the US National Cancer Institute and the UK’s Department of Health, having CT-scans during ones youth can triple the risk of brain cancer and leukemia later on. This is forcing doctors, hospitals and patients to question the need for CT-scans in some cases.

The research was conducted among 178,604 people, including those who received a CT-scan before the age of 22 years old between 1985 and 2002. The researchers then analyzed the data for cancer occurrences and deaths from cancer between 1985 and 2008. The follow-up period testing began two years from the patient’s first CT-scan.

The analysis found that those receiving a CT-scan or scans with more than 30 mGy of radiation dosage had 318% (over three times) greater incidence of leukemia, and those receiving more than 50 mGy of CT-scan radiation had a 282% (2.8 times) greater incidence in brain cancer compared to those who did not receive a CT-scan, or received a very low dosage scan.

Previous research has determined that children are more sensitive to radiation than adults.

A CT-scan uses an imaging technique called computed tomography. It is one of the highest sources of ionizing radiation exposure within the health care industry. The use of CT-scans has increased dramatically over the past decade, and many health experts have stated that it is often an unnecessary procedure. It is sometimes ordered even if there is confidence in the diagnosis, just to cover the potential for a malpractice suit. In other words, hospitals and physicians sometimes order CT-scans for patients as a type of insurance policy.

The researchers concluded that, “use of CT scans in children to deliver cumulative doses of about 50 mGy might almost triple the risk of leukaemia and doses of about 60 mGy might triple the risk of brain cancer.”

CT-scans are often regional scans. Radiation dosage will depend upon the surface area scanned, as well as upon the image resolution and image quality of the scan.

Other research has established that ones combined radiation exposure load or dosage – a combination of ionizing radiation exposure from various sources – is a more appropriate predictor for cancer incidence from radiation.

Learn more about electromagnetic radiation and how to protect ourselves and family from too much radiation.


Pearce MS, Salotti JA, Little MP, McHugh K, Lee C, Kim KP, Howe NL, Ronckers CM, Rajaraman P, Craft AW, Parker L, de González AB. Radiation exposure from CT scans in childhood and subsequent risk of leukaemia and brain tumours: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet, 7 June 2012. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60815-0

Adams C. Electromagnetic Health: Making Sense of the Research and Practical Solutions for Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Radio Frequencies (RF) Logical Books, 2010.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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