Legal news for product liability attorneys. A new study suggests overuse of CT scans can lead to development of new cancers.
Product liability attorneys alerts- Studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggest radiation exposure from CT scanners can cause cancer.
West Palm Beach, FL—Two studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that computed tomography (CT) scans give off far more radiation then what has been widely believed by medical professionals. The CT scans are believed to contribute to 29,000 new cancers every year, which contributes to 14,500 fatalities. Researchers and the Los Angeles Times reported today, December 15, 2009, that “widespread overuse of CT scans and variations in radiation doses caused by different machines — operated by technicians following an array of procedures — are subjecting patients to high radiation doses that will ultimately lead to tens of thousands of new cancer cases and deaths.”
Researchers revealed that while current CT scanners are being used, 14,500 deaths could result each year. A normal chest CT scan is reportedly equal to 100 chest X-rays, while researchers discovered that some scanners give off radiation equal to 440 conventional X-rays. Although the risk may be minimal to any single patient, the vast number of CT scans performed—over 70 million per year—will produce a high increase in cancers and even deaths. CT scans of whole bodies are steadily becoming more popular and common to determine if there are any hidden tumors or illnesses in healthy patients, which ironically could create problems later on due to the radiation exposure. The scans can cause mutations in DNA, which can lead to development of cancers. In a routine head scan, one in 8,100 women and one in 11,080 men will ultimately develop a tumor of some kind.
Currently CT scanner manufacturers are creating medical instruments that utilize lower doses of radiation, while many older scanners operate on higher doses. A UC San Francisco professor stated, “The highest doses of radiation are routinely used for coronary angiography, in which cardiologists image the heart and its major blood vessels to look for blockages or other abnormalities. Under the normal dosages of radiation for the procedure, about 1 in 270 women and 1 in 600 men who receive it at age 40 will develop cancer as a result.”
Shockingly, Dr. Michael S. Lauer of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, stated, “there are no clinical trials that show such imaging saves lives.” Experts are urging patients to take the initiative to keep their own records of the CT scans they have received, and to as your doctor why repeat studies are necessary. Also ask for alternative types of imaging, like magnetic resonance imagine (MRI).
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for product liability lawyers.