CT Scans Lead to Cancer Risks in Children

By: Caroline Mason

Studies show that too many children are being exposed to unnecessary radiation from CT Scans.

CT Scans are important in examining internal organs for bleeding, fractures and cancer. Although important, they can lead to increased risk for cancer in children because their organs are still developing and the cancer has longer to form.

Children with issues such as suspected appendicitis are initially getting CT Scans instead of ultrasounds, which do not use radiation.

Researchers found that abdomen scans put children at the highest risk. They expect that one case of cancer could be expected in 300 to 400 girls and one in 700 to 800 who received a scan of their abdomen.

Doctors have been using a wide variation in the dosage of radiation used in these scans. If doctors used the lowest dose of radiation necessary to obtain and image and eliminated unnecessary scans the number of cancers linked to scans could be reduced by 62 percent.