CT-Scans Cause Brain Cancer, Leukemia
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.
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