Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hazards Of CT Scans Overstated, According To Physicist

Date:
December 31, 2007
Source:
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
Summary:
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine says CT scans are a critical part of medical care and questions the statistical method used in the New England Journal of Medicine article linking CT scans to cancer.

Concerns over possible radiation effects of CT scans detailed in a report November 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine should not scare people away from getting medically needed CT scans, as the scans play a critical role in saving the lives of thousands of people every day, according to an official with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).

In a statement issued November 30, Dr. John M. Boone, chairman of AAPM's science council, says that the "science community remains divided" over the radiation dose effects of CT scans and that the findings in the Journal article were based on "flawed assumptions" and were not conclusive. While agreeing with the Journal article's authors, Drs. David Brenner and Eric Hall, that CT scans should only be used judiciously and when medically necessary, Boone says CT experts in the AAPM "feel that much of the message of this article may be misconstrued or misunderstood by the press or by the public who may not be experts in CT."

Brenner and Hall, in their article, said that while they save lives and speed diagnosis, the 62 million CT scans done in the United States each year may soon be responsible for 2 percent of all cancers. They further suggested that their "back of the envelope" estimate is that about a third of all CT scans are unnecessary.

Boone responds in his statement that the assumptions about the hazards of CT scan radiation exposure "remain controversial, even among experts in radiation biology." The method of determining risk used in the article is derived from Japanese citizens exposed to large amounts of radiation during the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, and the extrapolation of those extremely high radiation exposure rates down to the low CT exposures "remains very controversial," Boone says.

Another "significant flaw" in the article was the attempt to compare the Japanese bomb victims to "patients receiving CT in the US in 2007," Boone says. The article "did not correct for the many underlying confounding age dependent variables that differ between (the Japanese population) and older Americans, such as the incidence of obesity and diabetes."

Boone encourages patients who have had CT scans, or are slated for CT exams in the next few weeks, to "discuss with their physicians not only the radiation risks of the CT examination, but the risks of not having the diagnostic information that CT provides."

While Boone notes that Brenner and Hall are "esteemed scientists and respected experts in radiation risk . . . the conclusions of the Brenner article are based on statistics and many statistical assumptions (and not) on the actual observation of somebody dying from having a CT scan."

The complete statement of Dr. Boone, the vice chairman of radiology at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, is available at: http://www.aapm.org/announcements/CTScans.asp


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association of Physicists in Medicine. "Hazards Of CT Scans Overstated, According To Physicist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130173233.htm>.
American Association of Physicists in Medicine. (2007, December 31). Hazards Of CT Scans Overstated, According To Physicist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130173233.htm
American Association of Physicists in Medicine. "Hazards Of CT Scans Overstated, According To Physicist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130173233.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. 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