Computed tomography (CT) has become an indispensable tool in disease diagnosis over the past decade. However, the concern of overexposure of radiation to patients has become a recurrent problem. For years, researchers have been trying to develop CT technologies that can optimize the radiation dose. A recent study by researchers at Taiwan chose to assess the risks. They gleaned through medical data sets of patients from National Health Insurance program between 2000 and 2013. The cohort comprised 22,853 people with thyroid cancer, 13,040 with leukemia, and 20,157 suffering with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Exclusions comprised those below 25 years, those who had had less than 3 years of doctor visit, and those who already had suffered from cancer before 2000.
Three-Fold Increase in Risk of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
The findings could intrigue you, especially adults in the age group of 36 – 45. Those patients had witnessed a three-time rise in risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to CT scan exposure. Across the age and in older patients, the researchers found the association to be low. Overall, those who had developed thyroid cancer and the blood cancer must have undergone high exposure to CT radiations. The study concluded that those who had higher dose of CT scans had shown general increase risk of leukemia and thyroid cancer. Moreover, at the forefront are female patients and those younger than 45, the authors added.
Higher Cumulative Dose Ups the Risk of Cancers
The aim of the study was to look at the increase in incidence of these diseases in patients of all age groups. It focused on non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases in young adults. The researchers opined that those who had higher cumulative dose had likelihood of higher risks.
Medical device makers are working relentlessly to adopt technique for dose optimization strategies to help reduce the risks. The clinical goal is not to reduce CT scans but to tone down the adverse effects of the radiations.