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  1. #1
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    Default Scientists Say F.D.A. Ignored Radiation Warnings CT Scans

    Scientists Say F.D.A. Ignored Radiation Warnings - NYTimes.com

    Scientists Say F.D.A. Ignored Radiation Warnings

    By GARDINER HARRIS
    Published: March 28, 2010

    . WASHINGTON — Urgent warnings by government experts about the risks of routinely using powerful CT scans to screen patients for colon cancer were brushed aside by the Food and Drug Administration, according to agency documents and interviews with agency scientists....


    An estimated 70 million CT (for computed tomography) scans are performed in the United States every year, up from three million in the early 1980s, and as many as 14,000 people may die every year of radiation-induced cancers as a result, researchers estimate.

    The use of CT scans to screen healthy patients for cancer is particularly controversial...(more at link)

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I find it a bit odd.

    I mean, I agree that screening patients, when there is no sign of them having cancer, is controversial.

    But CT scan radiation is limited to within the capsule, and the amount of radiation the person being scanned is getting isn't lethal. Unless that person gets a CT scan like every day.

    Those are the facts.

    So I find these numbers hilariously weird:

    An estimated 70 million CT (for computed tomography) scans are performed in the United States every year, up from three million in the early 1980s, and as many as 14,000 people may die every year of radiation-induced cancers as a result, researchers estimate.
    This would suggest that CT scanners leak radiation, or people get too many CT scans. If 70 million different people get one CT scan, there should be no deadly consequence. If 14.000 of these people get a lot of CT scans, those may die. Either way, I don't see the significance of the number 70 million. Is it to draw attention? It holds no significant value whatsoever, unless the CT scan and their chambers actually leak radiation, which I think is impossible.

    Anyhow, half of that article is clearly media hyped. Sprouting numbers like they know a damn.

    If people die from CT scans, it's because they get too many of them. And as far as I'm aware, the amount of CT scans people can get is already regulated. Maybe not as strictly as they should. But I doubt it.

    I'd say there's a bigger chance that the people assumedly dying from CT scans, actually have other health issues which resulted, either in combination with a CT scan or not, in their deaths. Yet that possibility seems to be overlooked. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    If people die from CT scans, it's because they get too many of them. And as far as I'm aware, the amount of CT scans people can get is already regulated. Maybe not as strictly as they should. But I doubt it...
    .
    from article: Alberto Gutierrez, deputy director of the F.D.A. office with responsibility over radiological devices, said in an interview that the right course on CT colonography was far from clear.

    “This device that you’ve mentioned has not been cleared or approved at this time, and that should tell you that the process we go through is not done,” Dr. Gutierrez said.

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    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    So, it's all because of burocracy that those 14.000 people die?

    No news there. :P

    Either way, I still don't see why 'not being approved' is the same as 'deadly'.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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    Health Care is a business. It's driven by greed.

    i.e. A CT scan will yield several thousand dollars in the US. Want a cheap scan? You can get one for 200 to 600 in India or Japan. Even Europe...

    Anytime I go to a doctor or a dentist, I'm fond of saying no. No you are not. Got a problem with it and I'll find another doctor. No, I'm not taking that.

    Instead of offering "Health Care" by teaching a person how to improve their physical/mental well-being...they prefer to give you a pill. And usually that pill will break something else...anything they can do to keep the condition "chronic." Dependant upon their pills.

    Pharmaceutical and Lab reps routinely purchase lunch for a doctor's office's staff. That type of activity should be illegal but it's not. They also like to fly Doctors around to exotic locations to court their business. That should be illegal but it's not.

    Disease management is twenty percent of our total economy. That figure is staggering and absurd.

    People are way over tested for everything today. Why? Because it's profitable and allows health care investors to amass a ton of wealth at your expense.

    I wouldn't say that anyone who works in the industry or as a professional has that intent. But it's the way our system is designed, it's the REALITY. And unfortunately, we're all too blind or have insufficient access to information to see it.

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    To fluffywolf: Do you miss reading the word "may" die? The scientists are simply saying they aren't sure it is safe and that it needs more investigation.

    You seem to be saying there ought to be no investigation into the matter.

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    What I was saying is that the information given in that article is full of holes.

    I don't know if there's a problem or not, there may well be. But that article isn't doing it justice at all. The arguements used in the article... annoy me. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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    The article seems to be getting their information from the FDA itself.

    Questions & Answers: Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging

    How often are patients who undergo medical imaging exposed to unnecessary radiation?

    We do not know. Unnecessary radiation exposure may be the result of performing an exam without appropriate clinical justification, or the use of more radiation than needed to create a high-quality image. The amount of unnecessary radiation a patient receives can also vary in magnitude. A patient who receives a small amount of excess ionizing radiation may experience no immediate signs or symptoms. However, the radiation may have damaged the DNA in the tissues that were exposed, increasing the risk that cancer may develop at that site in the future. A patient who receives a large amount of excess ionizing radiation will experience visible symptoms soon after the procedure. High acute doses of ionizing radiation can cause burns and hair loss, and can increase the risk of developing cataracts if the exposure was directly to the eyes.

    Medical imaging procedures where excess radiation exposure may be more likely to cause harm include CT scans, nuclear medicine studies, and fluoroscopy, because they tend to use higher amount of ionizing radiation to begin with.

    The goal of this initiative is to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure from CT, nuclear medicine studies, and fluoroscopy, in order to minimize related risks and support the benefits of these exams...

    White Paper: Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging

    ...Concerns have been raised about the risks associated with patients’ exposure to radiation from medical imaging. Because ionizing radiation can cause damage to DNA, exposure can increase a person’s lifetime risk of developing cancer. Although the risk to an individual from a single exam may not itself be large, millions of exams are performed each year, making radiation exposure from medical imaging an important public health issue.10 Berrington de González et al. estimate that approximately 29,000 future cancers could be related to CT scans performed in the U.S. in 2007.11 Smith-Bindman et al. estimate that 1 in 270 women and 1 in 600 men who undergo CT coronary angiography at age 40 will develop cancer from that CT scan; the risks for 20-year-olds are estimated to be roughly twice as large, and those for 60-year-olds are estimated to be roughly half as large.12 Although experts may disagree on the extent of the risk of cancer from medical imaging, there is uniform agreement that care should be taken to weigh the medical necessity of a given level of radiation exposure against the risks...

    9 National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, NCRP Report No. 160, March 2009, pp. 142-146.

    10 Brenner DJ and Hall EJ, Computed Tomography: An Increasing Source of Radiation Exposure, New England Journal of Medicine, November 2007, Vol. 357, No. 22, pp. 2277-2284.

    11 Berrington de González A, et al., “ Projected Cancer Risks from Computed Tomographic Scans Performed in the United States in 2007,” Archives of Internal Medicine, December 2009, Vol. 169, No. 22, pp. 2071-2077.

    12 Smith-Bindman R, et al., “Radiation Dose Associated With Common Computed Tomography Examinations and the Associated Lifetime Attributable Risk of Cancer,” Archives of Internal Medicine, December 2009, Vol. 169, No. 22, pp. 2078-2086.


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