March 9, 2010

CT scans may pose cancer risk, new research indicates

By Kelley Luckstein

After an imaging test revealed a small nodule in Dr. Len Lichtenfeld's lung, his doctor ordered a series of CT scans. But Lichtenfeld turned them down. As deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, Lichtenfeld knew the tiny nodule probably wasn't dangerous and that new research has documented an increased risk of cancer from CT scans' X-rays


"The risk of death by drowning is greater than the risk of death from a cardiac or body CT exam," said Cynthia McCollough, professor of radiological physics at the Mayo Clinic, in testimony before Congress.


The biggest problem, McCollough said, is that operators of CT machines often don't have adequate education or training and "have not kept up with the rapid developments in the technology." As a result, some patients may get higher-than-recommended radiation doses.


Chicago Tribune, by Judith Graham, 3/8/2010

Tags: cancer risks, CT Scans, Cynthia McCollough, Radiology

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