According to a new study, children who receive several CT scans have a slightly higher chance of brain cancer and leukemia later in life.
Since there introduction over 30 years ago, CT scans are one of the most used pieces of medical equipment when it comes to examining a patient. However, according to Fox News, when international researchers studied nearly 180,000 patients under age 22 who had a CT scan in British hospitals between 1985 and 2002 and followed those patients until 2008, they found 74 of them were diagnosed with leukemia while 135 had brain tumors.
Mark Pearce of Newcastle University, the study’s lead author, along with his colleagues concluded the risk of brain tumors were tripled if children had two to three scans and the risk of leukemia was tripled with five to ten scans. While the news is concerning, Pearce reiterates that CT scans are important, and even with triple the risk, the event of getting cancer from a CT scan is still very remote:
“CT scans are very useful, but they also have relatively high doses of radiation, when compared to X-rays.”
The risk of leukemia in children is about 1 in 2,000. Moreover, researchers noted that modern CT scanners give off about 80 percent less radiation than the older machines used in the study.
The study was paid for by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the U.K. Department of Health and was published online Thursday in the journal Lancet.
CT Scans May Cause Cancer in Children.