Radiation from CT scans associated with higher risk for cancer

Based on a latest study, exposure to radiation from CT scans is more vulnerable to higher risks of developing thyroid cancer and leukemia.  The study was published in journal JNCI Cancer Spectrum.

For the study, the research team examined the National Health Insurance dataset in Taiwan from the period of 2000 and 2013. The results highlighted 22,853 cases of thyroid cancer, 13,040 of leukemia and 20,157 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The dataset also brought to light the medical and demographic information related to disease diagnoses, drug prescriptions and other procedures, including the enrollment profiles of all patients.

Further reports also suggest that patients were excluded if under the age of 25 and at the time of cancer diagnosis. These were ones who had less than three years of follow-up before diagnosis or even the ones who had a history of cancer before the year 2000.

The results concluded that patients who had developed thyroid cancer and leukemia were more likely to have received CT scans. Other studies which combined patients across age groups and their exposure to medical CT scans were not associated with the risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Experts further allege that patients between the age group of 36-45 years have a threefold higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma associated with CT scans. On the other hand, in older patients the association between exposures to CT scans and non-Hodgkin lymphoma was not clear-cut.

The study in general concluded that patients who received CT scans had in general higher likelihood of developing thyroid cancer and leukemia, a trait more common among females and patients younger than 45.

“Our study found that CT scans are associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer and leukemia in adults in all ages and with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in young adults,” commented Yu-Hsuan Joni Shao, one of the authors. “The risk is stronger in patients who have higher cumulative doses from multiple scans. The increased numbers of people undergoing CT scans have become a public health issue.”