2013-06-04 14:33:41 UTC

Cancer Risk After CT Exposure in Childhood or Adolescence

June 6, 2013

Reporting in the British Medical Journal, John Mathews and colleagues found that cancer risk in children and adolescents is 24 percent greater following exposure to low dose ionising radiation from diagnostic CT scans. The researchers found that incidence increased significantly for many types of solid cancer, including digestive organs.

John Mathews and colleagues assessed cancer risk in children and adolescents following exposure to low dose ionising radiation from diagnostic CT scans. Publishing in the British Medical Journal, the team found that overall cancer incidence was 24 percent greater for exposed than for unexposed people, after accounting for age, gender and year of birth. The researchers found that incidence increased significantly for many types of solid cancer, including digestive organs. The increased incidence of cancer after CT scan exposure in this cohort was mostly due to irradiation. Because the cancer excess was still continuing at the end of follow-up, the eventual lifetime risk from CT scans cannot yet be determined.

British Medical Journal 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2360

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