Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Full-body CT Screening Increases Risk Of Cancer Death

Date:
August 31, 2004
Source:
Radiological Society Of North America
Summary:
The risk of cancer mortality from a single full-body computed tomography (CT) scan is modest, but not negligible, and the risks resulting from elective annual scans are much higher, according to a study published in the September issue of the journal Radiology.

OAK BROOK, Ill. - The risk of cancer mortality from a single full-body computed tomography (CT) scan is modest, but not negligible, and the risks resulting from elective annual scans are much higher, according to a study published in the September issue of the journal Radiology.

The increasing popularity of elective, or self-referred, full-body CT screening has raised concerns regarding the radiation-related cancer mortality risk associated with full-body CT radiation exposure. Based on anecdotal evidence, these scans are performed on asymptomatic people to identify a variety of diseases, including colon and lung cancer and coronary artery disease.

"Our research provides definitive evidence that radiation risk is associated with full-body CT scans," said David J. Brenner, Ph.D., D.Sc., lead author of the study and professor of radiation oncology and public health at Columbia University in New York City. "The radiation dose from a full-body CT scan is comparable to the doses received by some of the atomic-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where there is clear evidence of increased cancer risk." The researchers studied low-dose A-bomb survivors, not high-dose survivors.

The researchers estimated cancer mortality risk associated with single and multiple full-body CT scans by comparing A-bomb cancer mortality data with the calculated effective radiation dose (weighted average over all relevant organs) from a full-body scan. The dose from a single full-body CT is only slightly lower than the mean dose experienced by groups of A-bomb survivors, in whom significant increases in cancer risk are seen. The effective dose of radiation delivered during a full-body CT exam is nearly 100 times that of a typical screening mammogram.

The study found that a 45-year-old person who underwent one full-body CT screening would have an estimated lifetime cancer mortality risk of approximately 0.08 percent, which would produce cancer in one in 1,200 people. However, a 45-year-old who has annual full-body CT scans for 30 years would accrue an estimated lifetime cancer mortality risk of about 1.9 percent or almost one in 50.

The report considered risk only for asymptomatic adults who elect to undergo high-tech checkups. "The risk-benefit equation changes dramatically for adults who are referred for CT exams for medical diagnosis. Diagnostic benefits far outweigh the risks," Dr. Brenner said.

The controversy surrounding elective full-body CT screening has been focused primarily on disease detection versus risk of false-positive findings, while neglecting the potential radiation risks associated with CT scans. CT delivers much larger radiation doses to the organs than do conventional x-rays.

"In addition to the radiation risks demonstrated in this report, elective full-body CT may provide false-positive findings when no disease exists," Dr. Brenner said. "This typically involves more extensive testing, which is costly and stressful." No studies have yet reported life-prolonging benefits to the procedure.

The risk from ongoing, elective CT screenings can be reduced by increasing the time between scans or by starting at a later age.

The researchers note that different CT scanners will produce different doses and, consequently, different risks. Full-body CT protocol is not standardized, so radiation exposure may vary among centers.

###

Radiology is a monthly scientific journal devoted to clinical radiology and allied sciences. The journal is edited by Anthony V. Proto, M.D., School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. Radiology is owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America Inc. (http://radiology.rsnajnls.org)

RSNA is an association of more than 35,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists and related scientists committed to promoting excellence in radiology through education and by fostering research, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (http://www.rsna.org)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society Of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Radiological Society Of North America. "Full-body CT Screening Increases Risk Of Cancer Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040831090104.htm>.
Radiological Society Of North America. (2004, August 31). Full-body CT Screening Increases Risk Of Cancer Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040831090104.htm
Radiological Society Of North America. "Full-body CT Screening Increases Risk Of Cancer Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040831090104.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins