HealthCentral.com

Dr. Dean

Can X-Rays Cause Cancer

Posting Date: 01/30/2004

Dr. Dean's Comment: Here is that very pesky concept again, benefits vs. risks. It would make sense that there must be some people who are exposed to diagnostic x-rays who also have cancer caused by the exposure. Do not let the slight rise in risk here convince you that you do not need an x ray your doctor wants to do. Of course evey x ray should have a reason and they are not to be used without justification. Talk with your doctor about this.



Study Quantifies Cancer Risk from Diagnostic X-Rays

Description

The most detailed calculation of its kind to estimate the risk of cancer from exposure to diagnostic X-rays is published this week. It suggests that in the UK around 700 of the 124,000 cases of cancer diagnosed annually could be attributable to exposure to diagnostic X-rays.

The most detailed calculation of its kind to estimate the risk of cancer from exposure to diagnostic X-rays is published in this week's issue of THE LANCET. It suggests that in the UK around 700 of the 124,000 cases of cancer diagnosed annually could be attributable to exposure to diagnostic X-rays.

Diagnostic X-rays (used in conventional radiography and imaging techniques such as computed tomography [CT]) are the largest man-made source of radiation exposure to the general population, contributing about 14% of the total annual exposure worldwide from all sources. Although diagnostic X-rays provide great benefits, it is generally accepted that their use is associated with very small increases in cancer risk.

Amy Berrington de González (University of Oxford, UK) and Sarah Darby (Cancer Research UK) have estimated the likely extent of the cancer risk based on the annual number of diagnostic X-rays undertaken in the UK and in 14 other developed countries (Australia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA).





Symptoms Checker