‘Radiations used in CT-scan harmless’

Low radiation does not cause cancer, states radiologists at PGIMER.

Written by TANBIR DHALIWAL | Chandigarh | Published: September 2, 2014 10:44:51 am

Patients exposed to low dose of radiations during diagnostic procedures like CT-Scan are free from any risk. These radiations does not cause cancer, states radiologists at a national level conference held at PGIMER.

“There is no risk at all for patients coming for CT scans. There is no evidence till now, that radiations used during CT-scans could cause cancer,” said Dr Leonard Berlin, Vice Chairman, Department of Radiology, NorthShore University Health System -Skokie hospital. The doctor was present at the Conference of the Society for Emergency Radiology, PGI. He talked about several issues including, “The effects of radiation and the possible connection of radiations from diagnostic radiology and the occurrence of cancer.”

Talking about the association of radiations and cancer, he said, “We know that high doses of radiations with thousands of miliseiverts cause cancer. For example, in industrial accidents, nuclear reactor accidents, Fukushima nuclear disaster, there was a high degree of cancer of thyroid gland, leukemia and breast cancer.”

“But those people got instantaneous high doses of all kinds of harmful radioactive materials on total body and it wasn’t just X-ray. So its not really accurate to compare the exposure that they got and the cancer incident with cancer incident from exposure with CT,” the doctor said.

CT-scan, is a specific X-ray and we do not examine the entire body, but just the part of the body like chest, abdomen, and head. Further, the amount of radiation is significantly different.

The average amount of radiation used for Head CT-scan is 5 mSv, for chest scan about 10 mSv and for abdomen scan, one uses dose anywhere from 10 to 15 mSv. As per the expert, there is no evidence at all that one can get cancer from radiation below 100 milisieverts.

“Most of the radiation studies show that there is zero threat of cancer if a radiation is under 100 milisievert. It is all most impossible that you get even close to 50 or 60 milisieverts, in any diagnostic CT scans. May be if a person comes in for repeated CT-scans, it adds up. But even in that case, no body has proved that it causes cancer,” Dr Leonard Berlin said.

Talking on the same issue, Dr Naveen Kalra, Radiologist, PGI said, “there is no data available to prove that radiations in the CT-scan causes cancer. However, there is a need of investigational study to be done.”

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