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More CT Scan Cancer Worries

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A couple of studies published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” have found that the cancer danger posed by the radiation from CT scans – even one – might be more dangerous than first thought.

The first study looked at 1,000 adult patients at four hospitals.  Researchers projected that the dose of radiation received in a single heart CT scan at age 40 would later result in cancer in 1 in 270 women and 1 in 600 men.  For those receiving a head CT scan, 1 in 8,100 women and 1 in 11,080 men would likely develop cancer from the radiation, the study said.  Radiation doses administered to patients also varied greatly among the hospitals included in the study.

The second study estimated that 29,000 future cancers could be related to CT scans received in 2007  The cancer risk was greatest for younger patients, and the study projected that the greatest number of cancers would occur the abdomen and pelvis.  The study used information from several databases to reach that conclusion.

CT scans are extremely popular as a diagnostic tool.  According to The Wall Street Journal, use of the scans has  tripled in the U.S. since the early 1990s to more than 70 million in 2007.

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