Because heavy doses of ionizing radiation are known to cause leukemia and other cancers, a new study shows that CT scans may not be the best diagnostic tool for doctors. The federally funded, $40 million study shows that people who receive a heart CT scan to investigate chest pain have no less risk of dying or being hospitalized months afterwards than others who test on a treadmill or take some other older exam. The study was the largest ever done on heart imaging technology.
Poor Reflection on CT Scans
The Associated Press reported that experts were surprised by the results. CT scans give 3-D images of heart arteries. The prevailing professional prejudice was that they give the most reliable results; but this study shows CT scans to perhaps be more dangerous alternative than other types of non-radiation tests. AP reported that doctors have used CT tests for a decade without proof that they were better than traditional tests. Some four million people are CT scanned in the U.S. yearly, each getting a huge dose of radiation.
The study exposed that one CT scan delivers the radiation equivalent of 500 to 700 regular X-rays. Ionizing radiation, the type delivered in CT scans, has long been proven to cause cancer as well as wreak other havoc on the body. Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif. – who, while at the Cleveland Clinic, sounded the alarm regarding heart attack and stroke risk from the blockbuster drug Vioxx – told AP: “Look at how much radiation they gave these poor people. (That) is despicable.” Dr. Topol said that if more people were told the radiation dose [and, presumably, were honestly told the dangers of radiation] before agreeing to a CT scan, more would end up using safer alternatives for diagnostic testing.
Ionizing radiation linked to Cancer
Ionizing radiation from CT scans has enough energy to fracture chemical bonds, remove electrons from atoms, damage DNA in human cells that can lead to cancer. All cells in human bodies can be injured by ionizing radiation delivered in CT scans.
Ionizing radiation was found to cause cancer just a few years after X-rays were discovered. Scientists early-on noticed an obvious link between radiation exposure and cancer among radiation workers. They also found a radiation/cancer link in people exposed to radiation during the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings of 1945, uranium miners, and people treated with radiotherapy for medical conditions.
CT Study of 10,000 Patients
The CT study involved more than 10,000 patients in the U.S. and Canada. Results were revealed on March 14 at an American College of Cardiology conference in San Diego and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (NEJM).
CT Scan Lawsuit
Matthews & Associates Law Firm is considering CT Scan Lawsuits. If you or someone you love developed leukemia or cancer after a CT scan, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for a free legal consultation.