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| Bradshaw & Bryant PLLC

Radiation danger from medical CT scans is much more worse than previously thought. According to two recent studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the cancer caused by CT scan radiation is much worse than had been previously suspected. Numerous sources, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, CBS Evening News, and other sources have reported these findings.

One study examined over 1000 patients at four hospitals and found:

  • Radiation from a single heart scan at age 40 will end up causing cancer in 1 in 270 women.
  • The same type scan will cause cancer in 1 of 600 men.
  • Doses of radiation for the same test varied wildly, even those done at the same hospital. Some patients got 13 times the radiation dose as others getting the same test.
  • "These are doses we should be concerned about," said Dr. Rebecca Smith-Bindman, one of the authors, "They don’t have to be this high."

The other study performed by the National Cancer Institute reviewed data from several databases and concluded:

  • People may be exposed to up to four times as much radiation as previously estimated.
  • 29,000 cancers might result from radiation in CT scans received in 2007, with the greatest number of cancers projected in the abdomen and pelvis.
  • Children are at the highest risk. A 3 year old girl female who received an abdominal scan at age 3 had a 1 in 500 chance of developing cancer because of the radiation from that scan. That figure dropped to 1 in 1,000 by age 30, and 1 in 3,333 at age 70.

My next installment will detail some suggestions for protecting yourself and your family from CT radiation. Thankfully, congressional studies are now recommending more over site.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Suzanne McClain
    Suzanne McClain

    This is one more thing I can add to my list of worries. I have had two CT scans recently, the first in 2008 and the second in 2009.

    My urogynecologist ordered the first scan after a partial mesh extraction surgery, in which I was experiencing a great deal of pain. I was told all my organs look healthy, and I came to the logical conclusion that the only feasible reason for the pain I live with is because of the bladder mesh that remains in my body.

    He ordered the second scan a year later, as I continued experiencing mild to moderate to severe pain in which I felt I was being poked, prodded and stabbed from the inside out. Again, the scan showed all my organs to be healthy.

    I now live with pain nearly every day, and it’s scary to know that the tests that have in the past been ordered for me, and tests I likely will be advised to have in the future can cause cancer. Ms. Akre reports “The second study published Monday, estimates that 29,000 future cancers, particularly those in the abdomen and pelvis, could be related to CT scans received in 2007.” Both CT scans I had in the recent past have been of my abdomen and pelvic region, though my GYN told me that in the second CT scan he could even see my heart; which I too was told is healthy.

    I have totally lost faith in our medical system. The solution for me, because the remaining mesh which is imbedded and intertwined within my tissues is too risky to remove, is to live on muscle relaxers. I must live with the pain during the day, because I can’t take muscle relaxers during the day, go to work and expect to function at full capacity. I am angry that my life has been turned upside down, and instead of reform the solution is for me to live on pills.

    If President Obama is truly committed to health care reform, it needs to start with pharmaceutical companies, the FDA’s 510K approval process and structuring the law in such a way that doctors are prevented from taking kickbacks and/or receiving gifts or compensation for pushing pharmaceutical products.

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