X-Rays, CT Scans for Pregnant Women, Babies, Up Childhood Cancer Risks

<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Radiation-Overexposure-Medical-Devices-Lawsuit-Lawyer">X-rays and CT Scans have long been linked to adverse side effects. Now, The Scotsman is citing a study published in the British Medical Journal that cautions care when using these scans on pregnant women and babies.

X-Rays performed on women and babies could potentially lead to Increased Childhood Cancer Risks, according to the research, which strengthens what the medical community has long believed and is why women are always asked about their pregnancy status before undergoing CT Scans or X-rays, said The Scotsman.

The team, comprised of researchers from the University of York and the National Cancer Institute expressed deeper concern about CT Scan Side Effects because they use higher radiation doses, versus X-rays, said The Scotsman.

For the research, the team reviewed 2,690 children with cancer and 4,858 healthy children; all of the children were born between 1976 and 1996, wrote The Scotsman, Of the group, 305 children underwent 319 radiographic examinations in utero and 170 children received 247 X-rays when they were babies.

The team found a potential Increased Cancer Risk by 14 percent in those children exposed to X-rays in the womb; a 16 percent increase was seen in the group of babies exposed in early infancy, said The Scotsman, which noted that the greatest risk was for lymphoma.

“Our results, which indicate possible risks of cancer from radiation at doses lower than those associated with CT Scans, suggest a need for cautious use of diagnostic radiation imaging procedures to the abdomen/pelvis of the mother during pregnancy and in children at very young ages,” said the research group, quoted The Scotsman. “I think the real worry is the CT Scans, especially from the American perspective,” said Jill Simpson, of the University of York, who added that more research is needed on larger groups, added The Scotsman.

“The health risks from X-rays and CT Scans are generally very low and outweighed by the benefits of getting the right diagnosis and appropriate treatment. However, it’s important that women tell their doctor if they are pregnant, as we know that unborn babies are more at risk of the DNA damage that X-rays can cause,” said Dr. Joanna Owens, science information manager at Cancer Research UK, quoted The Scotsman.

We recently wrote that exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging and other procedures following heart attack has been linked to increased cancer risks. Radiation from medical procedures has been a mounting issue in recent months. We previously wrote that risks for developing childhood leukemia are increased by diagnostic X-rays, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Late last year, U.S. health regulators urged makers of CT Scan Machines to implement two recommendations to lessen the likelihood that patients undergoing the procedures could be exposed to radiation overdoses.

Also, children face a potentially serious radiation risk when they go to the dentist, according to a report in The New York Times.

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