June 8, 2012
CT scans, routinely performed on children and adults alike at the suggestion of their doctor, may actually triple the risk of developing leukemia or brain tumors in children. Scientists are now warning over the link between CT scan radiation and elevated brain tumor risk after the information was brought to the surface, thanks to new research stemming from Newcastle University. Alternative health experts have long warned against the large amount of unnecessary CT scans and other scanning techniques involving radiation.
Published Thursday in The Lancet medical journal, the scientists discovered that due to the fact that the CT scans can trigger cancer, it should only be used when “fully clinically justified.” Currently, doctors frequently use CT scans to examine the severity of chest infections and other diseases. In addition, head trauma is also examined with CT scans to check for brain injury. This is particularly problematic when considering the fact that these scans involve rather large doses of radiation, even when compared to x-ray alternatives. CT scan radiation can be especially problematic with growing and developing brains.
In fact, CT scans emit 10 times more radiation than x-ray options. It is for this reason that the researchers of the study conclude that it should be a “priority” to limit radiation doses used in CT scans. The results were based on 180,000 children who received CT scans in Britain between 1985 and 2002.
Previously, dental x-rays have been linked in similar research to a two-fold increase in brain tumor risk. Coming out of Yale, the researchers found that the risk factor ratio could actually be even higher for children, which isn’t surprising. When exposed to bitewing x-rays (the kind that shows upper and lower back teeth) performed less than once per year, patients were 1.1 to 1.6 times more likely to experience a form of brain cancer known as meningioma. When the number of x-rays jumped to 1 or higher per year, or even more frequent panorex dental X-ray (an X-ray showing all teeth and surrounding bones), the risk factor increased by 2.7 to 3.0 What’s more, is that x-rays performed before age 10 gave the young children a 4.9 times more likely chance to develop the condition.
As further research comes out, it becomes more and more apparent that radiation is unsafe at any dose — especially for children. It is time to re-examine the current medical paradigm and opt for safer alternatives in order to fight the burdgeoning cancer rates currently surging throughout the globe.