A recent study estimates that between 1.5% and 2% of all cancers can be attributed to radiation from the 62 million computed tomography scans Americans get each year. The finding comes on the heels of earlier, similar risk estimates, and it has some experts saying physicians should think twice about ordering the test.
The review article in the Nov. 29, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine arrives at its estimate by examining the cancer effects on the 25,000 Japanese who survived the 1945 atomic bombs and received radiation doses equivalent to the x-rays emitted by several CT scans.
The authors, David J. Brenner, PhD, and Eric J. Hall, PhD, are professors at the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research and have studied the cancer-causing effects of imaging for years. They write that the evidence of cancer risk from CTs is “reasonably convincing” for adults and “very convincing for children.”
The whole shebang.