Thursday, February 21, 2008

Are we overestimating cancer risk from CT?

An interesting letter in NEJM, according to Maurice Tubiana "an excess of cancers has never been detected in laboratory animals or in humans for doses below 100 mSv. Computed tomographic (CT) scans deliver a radiation dose of about 20 mSv. After repeated x-ray examinations, induction of cancer has been observed only when the cumulative dose was above 500 mSv. In patients treated with radiotherapy, a threshold was reported for irradiation doses of 0.6 Sv delivered in 30 sessions. Overestimation of the risk may deprive patients of beneficial examinations. " and the debate continues...

Reference- Computed Tomography and Radiation ExposureN Engl J Med 2008 358: 850-853
[Full Text]

1 comment:

Mike said...

As with everything in medicine you have to weigh the risks and benefits. The risks of CT are small and theoretical at best. You can calculate your risk of cancer from CT scans and xrays at www.xrayrisk.com.

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