Do CT Scans raise Cancer Risk?


By Triveni Sharma: CT scan or Computed Tomography is a non-invasive medical diagnosis scan that produces detailed 3D cross-sectional views of internal organs, using a series of specialized X-rays. It produces images in larger facet than standard X-rays, which allow doctors to see the inner problems of the patient clearly.

Undergoing a CT scan does involve being exposed to an amount of radiation from X-rays.  It can also have the risk of bleeding and infection as complications. But, it also promises a greater diagnostic accurateness in brain hemorrhage, tumors, arterial blockages, non-invasive angiography and status of internal organs in accidental cases.

Recent studies revealed that two-thirds of cancers can be linked to CT scans. The problem is that these scans are so sensitive, and the radiation produced by them is very harmful for human body. Two or three scans would be sufficient to heighten the risk to such levels for brain cancer, while five to 10 would similarly lift the risk of leukaemia, according to a study.

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Patients who are in pain often demand scans hoping to find out what is wrong. Many doctors are tempted to offer scans to those patients, and then, once a scan is done, it is common for doctors and patients to assume that any abnormalities found are the reason for the pain.

It is however proved that in the last two decades, the use of CT scans has grown and due to its radiation in the wavelength range that CT machines use, can cause cancer. CT scans do expose the patient to more radiation than regular x-rays. Having many x-rays or CT scans over time may increase the risk for cancer. However, the risk from any one scan is small.

The medical community believes that the argument behind claims of harmful radiation from CT scans is fundamentally flawed. In fact, the amount of radiation produced by a CT scan is less than the amount of radiation a typical person absorbs from sunlight in a year.

However, most physicians recommend that all radiation contact to patients should be kept to least. Those patients frequently go to emergency departments for a “CT” scan put themselves at risk for radiation-causing problems like cancer.

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