Small cancer risk following CT scans in childhood and adolescence confirmed

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Small cancer risk following CT scans in childhood and adolescence confirmed


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Old 05-23-2013, 13:08   #1
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Default Small cancer risk following CT scans in childhood and adolescence confirmed

Small cancer risk following CT scans in childhood and adolescence confirmed — BMJ Group

Young people who undergo CT scans are 24% more likely to develop cancer compared with those who do not, a study published today on bmj.com suggests.

However the absolute excess for all cancers combined was low, at 9.38 for every 100,000 person years of follow-up.

The researchers say that in a group of 10,000 young people, they would expect 39 cancers to occur during the next 10 years, but if they all had one CT scan, up to six extra cancers would occur.

CT (computed tomography) scans have great medical benefits, but their increasing use since the 1980s has raised some concerns about possible cancer risks, particularly following exposures in childhood. Most previous studies have estimated risks indirectly, and some radiation experts have questioned the validity of these estimates.

There is currently much uncertainty and as such, researchers from Australia and Europe carried out a study comparing cancer rates in patients exposed to CT scans at ages 0-19 years compared with unexposed persons of a similar age. All participants were born between 1985 and 2005 with total follow-up ending at the end of 2007. This is the largest ever population-based study of medical radiation exposure.

Data were taken from Australian Medicare records and from national cancer records. The main outcome of the research was to identify cancer rates in individuals exposed to a CT scan more than one year before any cancer diagnosis. Mean length of follow-up was 9.5 years for the exposed group and 17.3 for the unexposed group.

The cohort included 10.9 million people, 680,211 of whom were CT-exposed at least 12 months before any cancer diagnosis. 18% of these had more than one scan.

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