Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Full-body CT screening increases risk of cancer death

31.08.2004


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.

Maureen Morley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rsna.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>