CT Scans Overuse Linked to Rise in Cancer Cases

by VR Sreeraman on  March 15, 2010 at 6:53 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
 CT Scans Overuse Linked to Rise in Cancer Cases
Health experts have warned that unjustified use of CT scans is increasingly becoming a reason behind cancers.

A latest medical research has claimed that more than 400 new cases of cancer a year in Australia occur due to diagnostic radiology.

However, it has not reduced the number of computerised tomography scans growing about 12 per cent a year.

Now, Director of the Professional Services Review, Tony Webber, has published a recommendation for doctors to stop using CTs as a first-choice diagnostic tool for problems such as lower-back pain.

"I have been alarmed at the number of these scans ordered without clinical justification," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Webber as saying in his The Report to the Professions.

Professor Mendelson, who heads radiology at Royal Perth Hospital, also warns against unjustified use of radiological procedures.

He said: "Although the risk of a CT scan is relatively small, a CT of the abdomen and pelvis may expose the patient to a dose of up to about 20 millisieverts and thus an increased risk of inducing a fatal cancer of one in 1000."

The Report on Professions was initiated after a study noted that 50 per cent of senior medical students in Perth underestimated radiation doses from commonly used radiological procedures.

A director of research in diagnostic imaging at Melbourne's Southern Health Service, Stacy Goergen, emphasized improved education of medical students about radiology is "absolutely essential".

Medical radiation has apparently increased more than six times in 30 years.

Also research has shown up to 40 per cent of CT scans could be avoided without compromising patient care.

Source: ANI

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