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Children not at increased risk for cancer from routine imaging tests: study

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | June 09, 2017
Pediatrics Risk Management X-Ray

"These predictions are simply wrong and have no scientific basis," said Siegel. "CT does not cause cancer, but rather cancer causes people to have CTs. Before CT, patients had to undergo exploratory surgery and many died from the procedure or the accompanying anesthesia."

The study also details the human body's ability to repair or eliminate DNA double strand damage caused by low-level radiation exposure, so that such damage does not go on to cause cancer. Siegel said the human body has a "wonderful" ability to maintain homeostasis and mitigate low-level radiation effects. At high doses, the body is overwhelmed and unable to repair or eliminate radiation damage.

Siegel’s findings will no doubt be front and center at the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting starting in Denver this weekend. An all-day Saturday session is scheduled on optimal pediatric dosing. While Siegel said that he will not be attending the meeting this year, he said a colleague had listed him as a co-presenter for a segment about the "LNT fiction".

"The obsession over lowering radiation dose is a futile and laborious attempt to minimize what is, in fact, a nonexistent risk," said Siegel. "Radiophobia is detrimental to patients and parents, induces stress, and leads to suboptimal image quality or avoidance of imaging. This increases misdiagnoses and consequent harm, while offering no compensating benefits."

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