The risk of developing radiation-induced cancer from CT is significantly low, according to a study conducted at Stanford University Medical Center in the US.
The researchers conducted a retrospective study by analysing Medicare claims between 1998 and 2005. The data was divided into two groups, the first including 5,267,230 records from 1998 to 2001, and the second including 5,555,345 records from 2002 to 2005.
For each group, researchers evaluated the number of CT scans each patient received, the percentage of patients exposed to ‘low’ and ‘high’ radiation, and then used the standard cancer risk model to estimate the number of radiation-induced cancers.
The results showed that incidences of cancer associated with ionising radiation from CT were estimated to be 0.02% for the first group and 0.04% for the second.
Study author Scott Atlas said the findings indicate a significantly lower risk of developing cancer from CT than previous estimates of 1.5% to 2.0% of the population.