CT scans in childhood and cancer risk
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Radiation exposure from computed tomography (CT) scans in childhood could triple the risk of leukaemia and brain cancer, a UK observational study has found. Radiation exposure from two to three CT scans of the head in childhood can triple the risk of later developing brain cancer, while around five to 10 scans could triple the risk of developing leukaemia. However, the absolute risks are small: in the 10 years after the first scan for patients younger than 10 years, one excess case of leukaemia and one excess case of brain tumour per 10 000 head CT scans is estimated to occur.
Paper: Radiation exposure from CT scans in childhood and subsequent risk of leukaemia and brain tumours: a retrospective cohort study, Pearce et al., The Lancet, 7 June 2012
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