Yesterday night I had the unfortunate experience of taking my son to the hospital for a fall. I vaguely remembered an article I had read a bit ago about the link between cancer and cat scans,and was concerned my son would be getting one. At that particular hospital they only give them if the child displays symptoms after the inital episode. In my son's case he lost consciousness, he is doing wonderfully now thank a God! He did not display anymore symptoms after that and after 5 hours or so we were able to leave, so one nice helicopter ride to the city a couple hours in the er and we are home. Here is an article talking about the cancer link. From what I was told having just one cat scan increases your risk of thyroid cancer by 30 percent. Put that in to perspective with how many people average get thyroid cancer and it is still a hight jump. 2 percent of the cancer will be from this type of radiation. So as always stay informed, know about the 4-6 hour window for head trauma, bring it up if it can be considered and isn't suggested, and don't get unneccessary tests. Be an informed health advocate, 'cause if you don't have you health you don't have anything.
Report Links Increased Cancer Risk to CT Scans
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 29, 2007
Millions of Americans, especially children, are needlessly getting dangerous radiation from “super X-rays” that raise the risk of cancer and are increasingly used to diagnose medical problems, a new report warns. In a few decades, as many as 2 percent of cancers in the United States may be due to radiation from CT scans given now, according to the report.
The risk from a single CT, or computed tomography, scan to an individual is small. But “we are very concerned about the built-up public health risk over a long period of time,” said Eric J. Hall, who wrote the report with David J. Brenner, a fellow Columbia University medical physicist.
It was published in The New England Journal of Medicine today, and the study was paid for by federal grants. Some experts say that estimate is overly alarming. But they agree with the need to curb these tests particularly in children, who are more susceptible to radiation and more likely to develop cancer from it.
“There are some serious concerns about the methodology used,” but the authors “have brought to attention some real serious potential public health issues,” said Dr. Arl Van Moore Jr., chairman of the American College of Radiology’s board of chancellors.
The average American’s total radiation exposure has nearly doubled since 1980, largely because of CT scans. About 62 million scans were done in the United States last year, up from three million in 1980. More than four million were in children.
Since previous studies suggest that a third of diagnostic tests are unnecessary, that means that 20 million adults and more than one million children having CT scans are needlessly being put at risk, the authors write.