One in 1,000 to 500 Chance of Cancer from Childhood CT Scan

The first study to assess directly the risk of cancer after CT scans in childhood found a clear dose-response relationship for both leukemia and brain tumors: risk increased with increasing cumulative radiation dose. For a cumulative dose of between 50 and 60 milligray or mGy (mGy is a unit of estimated absorbed dose of ionizing radiation) to the head, the investigators reported a threefold increase in the risk of brain tumors; the same dose to bone marrow (the part of the body responsible for generating blood cells) resulted in a threefold increase in the risk of leukemia. For both findings, the comparison group consisted of individuals who had cumulative doses of less than 5 mGy to the relevant regions of the body.

The number of CT scans required to give a cumulative dose of 50-60mGy depends on the type of CT scan, the age of the patient, and the scanner settings. If typical current scanner settings are used for head CT in children, then two to three head CT scans would result in a dose of 50-60mGy to the brain. The same dose to re. bone marrow would be produced by five to 10 head CT scans, using current scanner settings for children under age 15.


It is important to stress that the absolute cancer risks associated with CT scans are small. The lifetime risks of cancer due to CT scans, which have been estimated in the literature using projection models based on atomic bomb survivors, are about 1 case of cancer for every 1,000 people who are scanned, with a maximum incidence of about 1 case of cancer for every 500 people who are scanned.


Folksonomies: cancer medicine childhood ct scan

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Cancer (0.734061): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Gray (0.632414): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Absorbed dose (0.598386): dbpedia | freebase | yago
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 Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography (CT): A Guide for Health Care Providers
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  National Cancer Institute, (June 7, 2012), Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography (CT): A Guide for Health Care Providers, Retrieved on 2016-03-14
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: cancer childhood ct scans


    14 MAR 2016

     CT Scan Cancer Risk in Children

    One in 1,000 to 500 Chance of Cancer from Childhood CT Scan > Additional Support/Evidence > 1.9 Cases of Leukemia per 10,000 CT Scans in Children