Over the last two decades CT scans in children have skyrocketed and the radiation from the CT procedures could result in thousands of future cases of cancer, according to a large, multi-center study published Monday. But cutting unnecessary scans and lowering the dose level for kids could reduce the risk by as much as 62 percent.
While CT scans provide “beautiful 3-D pictures of the inside of the body,” they also subject patients to a significant amount of radiation, which may boost the risk of future cancer, said the study’s lead author Diana Miglioretti, a professor of biostatistics at the University of California, Davis, and a senior investigator at the Group Health Research Institute.
Between 1996 and 2006 CT scans in children under age 5 nearly doubled, while they almost tripled in kids aged 5 to 14 years, according to the report in JAMA Pediatrics. While the number of scans in children has declined since 2006, it’s still much higher than in 1996.
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