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Radiation Delivered To Children Increases Risks For Cancer, Study.

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CT_for_childrenAccording to a new study, medical imaging procedure taking place in children's cancer treatment can put children at risk due to delivering them high doses of radiation. The study was conducted in a children cancer medical center in Canada, and it involved 150 children suffering from the disease. Researchers reviewed the radiation doses children received from medical imaging systems during their cancer treatment courses.

Previously, several studies highlighted the risks associated with delivering high radiation doses to adults during medical imaging procedures such as CT. However, the risk is significantly increased when it is involving children having cancer. It is known that childhood cancer survivors still have relatively higher risks for developing cancer again in later stages of life. Radiation exposure from medical imaging systems can even increase these risks. Yet, there is a need for conducting certain medical imaging procedure to monitor the progress of cancer in a child. Therefore, professionals say that a balance between the benefits and risks of radiation exposure should be always considered.

Radiaition doses and children.

The study took place at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. Dr. Karen E. Thomas and her team revised the records of 150 children who received cancer treatments at the center starting from 2001. It was found that children had significant differences in the cumulative radiation doses they received during medical imaging procedures. The doses ranged from less than 1 millisievert (mSv) to 642 mSv, the average radiation dose was 61 mSv. Radiation was delivered mainly during CT and nuclear medicine procedures. Dr. Thomas and her team found that a 10-year-old child delivered 61 mSv of radiation from medical imaging will have an increased risk for cancer by up to 1.2% for the rest of his/her life. Moreover, children receiving more than 100 mSv, 41% of children in this study, will have increased risk for cancer by 2%. However, Dr. Thomas confirmed the importance of medical imaging procedures in cancer treatment for children. She said "I wouldn't want parents to be unduly alarmed." As the benefits of these procedures are significantly more than their risks. Dr. Thomas recommended parents to ask more about the medical imaging procedures performed on their children, such as the importance of a certain test, or if there is an alternative one that does not involve radiation, such as MRI and ultrasound.


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