(Natural News) A computed tomography (CT) scan can be an incredibly useful tool in diagnosing certain problems and possibly helping people get much-needed treatment in time to make a difference. However, this usefulness comes with a great price: It increases the risk of brain tumors, especially in children, according to a new study that was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The problem is that CT scans deliver far higher doses of radiation than other types of tests. This can be especially taxing on children, who are also more vulnerable to malignancies related to radiation than adults and also have more time ahead in their lifetime to show the effects of radiation.
The researchers looked at more than 168,000 Dutch children who had been given one or more CT scans in the years from 1979 to 2012 and analyzed the cancer incidence among these groups. In particular, they wanted to evaluate the risks of leukemia and brain tumorsfollowing childhood CT scan radiation exposure as these are the most common malignancies related to radioactivity in children and young adults.
They found that the overall incidence of cancer was 1.5 times higher than expected. They also discovered that the risk of malignant and nonmalignant brain tumors separately, as well as that for all types of brain tumors combined, increased with exposure to higher doses of radiation. For example, the relative risks raised between two to four times in the highest dose category.
The researchers did note, however, that exposure to this type of radiation was not linked to leukemia. The radiation doses did not reach bone marrow, which is where leukemia originates.
It’s important to keep in mind that part of this higher risk could be related to the fact that some people are given CT scans in the first place to identify conditions that are linked to a higher tumor risk. Although this type of study can be challenging, the researchers nevertheless believe that exposure to CT radiation does indeed raise the risk of brain tumors.
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