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.