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(BBC)   Safe and Effective: CT scans in childhood can triple brain tumor, leukemia risk   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 54
    More: Scary, CT scans, lung disease, Newcastle University, cancer risks, young adulthood, rare disease, leukemia, Children's Health  
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2403 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Jun 2012 at 3:25 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-06 09:44:50 PM  
Um... but why were they getting CT scans in the first place?
 
2012-06-07 12:05:20 AM  

pivazena: Um... but why were they getting CT scans in the first place?


Becuase Mommy thinks there're demons in babby?
 
2012-06-07 03:26:29 AM  
Sounds like kids who are getting CT scans are more likely to be at risk of leukemia than ones that aren't.

Or demon possession.
 
2012-06-07 03:32:46 AM  
Trolltastic headline. There's not a medical professional alive who believes ionizing radiation is harmless, let alone when discussing children.

These scans are done when (hopefully) reward>risk.
 
2012-06-07 03:41:58 AM  
 
2012-06-07 03:45:37 AM  

Ambivalence: pivazena: Um... but why were they getting CT scans in the first place?

Becuase Mommy thinks there're demons in babby?


That medical scan scene is really disconcerting. Just the switch from the quiet doctor's office consultation to the loud, clanging machines spinning around Reagan, it's fright inducing without being especially scary.
 
2012-06-07 03:49:19 AM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Trolltastic headline. There's not a medical professional alive who believes ionizing radiation is harmless, let alone when discussing children.

These scans are done when (hopefully) reward>risk.


I've actually talked doctors OUT of getting CTs on people. The risk/reward wasn't great enough, and MRI is often a better imaging option (as long as no bone is necessary to view) while having ZERO ionizing radiation.

Doctors can be smart people, but they know jack & shiat about what imaging entails.

/csb: We used to have a "radiation safety" course that we used to run for the new doctors, but they stopped doing it because the new docs felt like they didn't need to know how it worked. We were "wasting their time".
 
2012-06-07 03:50:48 AM  
I probably got nuked more than I should have the year that I got hit on the head. My daughter also fell down the stairs. I got a CT, she got a CT and full body x-rays for which I ended up holding her down.

My skin smelled crispy after hers.
 
2012-06-07 03:52:06 AM  
0.00000000001 x 3 is only 0.000000000003 subby.

They are safe as exposure to high amounts of radiation can be and the only times you'd need one are the rare days when you'd gladly take 100 percent chance of a tumor for the chance to live long enough to get one.


Personally, I've never had a CT scan. The developed this thing called an MRI and well... there ya go. But on the off chance your child ever needs one, that "triple" risk shouldn't bother you.
 
2012-06-07 03:52:08 AM  
So they're already aware of the risk, and reduce the incidence of CT scans to what they believe is necessary?

NEWS!!
 
2012-06-07 03:53:13 AM  

Vertdang: I've actually talked doctors OUT of getting CTs on people. The risk/reward wasn't great enough, and MRI is often a better imaging option (as long as no bone is necessary to view) while having ZERO ionizing radiation.

Doctors can be smart people, but they know jack & shiat about what imaging entails.

/csb: We used to have a "radiation safety" course that we used to run for the new doctors, but they stopped doing it because the new docs felt like they didn't need to know how it worked. We were "wasting their time".


I got hit on the head on a sunday evening. I think the MRI tech had gone home, if that hospital even HAD an MRI.
 
2012-06-07 03:56:03 AM  
We have enough kids anyhow.
 
2012-06-07 03:57:06 AM  

doglover: 0.00000000001 x 3 is only 0.000000000003 subby.

They are safe as exposure to high amounts of radiation can be and the only times you'd need one are the rare days when you'd gladly take 100 percent chance of a tumor for the chance to live long enough to get one.


Personally, I've never had a CT scan. The developed this thing called an MRI and well... there ya go. But on the off chance your child ever needs one, that "triple" risk shouldn't bother you.


Yeah, agreed it's a small base risk, but you factor in other things, like living in a fallout zone, etc, and things do multiply.

What this is useful for is for setting policy.
 
2012-06-07 03:58:46 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Sounds like kids who are getting CT scans are more likely to be at risk of leukemia than ones that aren't.

Or demon possession.


But that explanation doesn't make EVERYBODY PANIC
 
2012-06-07 04:10:44 AM  
When I was in 3rd grade (1998) some doctorate candidates from University of Nebraska-Lincoln (I think) came into our school. They were doing an experiment where we didn't eat something for a few months and then they measured bone density or something like that. I don't remember what we were not supposed to eat and I'm not sure how they made sure it was controlled, what with kids going home, and everything. But anyway, they bribed us with Beanie Babies, which was basically like heroin to us at that age.

At the beginning and end of this experiment, there was a CAT scan. That's right. Bribing 7-8 year olds to expose themselves to two doses of radiation for no-good-reason.

My parents, of course, were like hell no. I was devastated. But I got over it.

Most of the parents who agreed to the study were the parents that probably honestly couldn't afford an $8 beanie baby for their kids. Thinking back, it's real sad what those researchers did.
 
2012-06-07 04:20:26 AM  
Everyone knows radiation has some harmful effects, I'm more concerned with the study itself. I notice they didn't link to the full thing, but what do you wanna bet the researchers did not control for the variable of what symptoms led them to give the kid a CT scan... nothing irks me more than sloppy research.
 
2012-06-07 04:48:13 AM  

Darkraven: Thinking back, it's real sad what those researchers did.


I don't understand how such a study got past the IRB. I assume idiots like these are the reason that my voluntary interviews of adult nurses about job-related computer usage required so much hassle to get approved.
 
2012-06-07 05:11:45 AM  
So that x-ray machine I used to stick my feet in to see if my shoes fit was not a good thing?

But it was cool!
 
2012-06-07 05:21:36 AM  

labman: So that x-ray machine I used to stick my feet in to see if my shoes fit was not a good thing?

But it was cool!


Fluoroscopy is very very cool (think xray video) but yeah, you got a decent dose in that thing. Bonus: it didn't really tell anyone anything about how your shoes fit.
 
2012-06-07 05:25:45 AM  

labman: So that x-ray machine I used to stick my feet in to see if my shoes fit was not a good thing?

But it was cool!


currently residing in the "yes i'm older than dirt" file

/i miss penny arcades too
 
2012-06-07 05:50:58 AM  

Vertdang: Bonus: it didn't really tell anyone anything about how your shoes fit.


Sure it did -- you could see the shoe and the foot and how they interacted. It just wasn't any more useful than non-cancer-causing measurements, and certainly not worth the cancer risk.

Which is more or less the case being made here, if you strip away the scaremongering -- CT scans have a useful diagnostic purpose, but they should only be used when less-harmful measurements would not provide adequate diagnosis.
 
2012-06-07 06:35:23 AM  

Vertdang: Occam's Disposable Razor: Trolltastic headline. There's not a medical professional alive who believes ionizing radiation is harmless, let alone when discussing children.

These scans are done when (hopefully) reward>risk.

I've actually talked doctors OUT of getting CTs on people. The risk/reward wasn't great enough, and MRI is often a better imaging option (as long as no bone is necessary to view) while having ZERO ionizing radiation.

Doctors can be smart people, but they know jack & shiat about what imaging entails.

/csb: We used to have a "radiation safety" course that we used to run for the new doctors, but they stopped doing it because the new docs felt like they didn't need to know how it worked. We were "wasting their time".


Not sure where they trained your docs, but even in the backwoods of Louisiana we're taught how many centiGrays and rads our tests are exposing patients to. I suppose a lot of people forget after awhile.

MRI's are fantastic for certain pathology. They're also slower and more expensive. If something ever knocks my kid in the head hard enough that we're worried about fractures or bleeds, I'd be damn happy for that CT though.
 
2012-06-07 06:36:02 AM  
The study estimated that the increased risk translated into one extra case of leukaemia and one extra brain tumour among 10,000 CT head scans of children aged under ten.

imgs.xkcd.com

So, Subby thinks we should just be performing exploratory surgery to find those tumors?
 
2012-06-07 06:46:02 AM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: If something ever knocks my kid in the head


If all the CT scan is used for is diagnosis of acute head injuries, where less dangerous scans would be significantly slower or unavailable, there's probably no issue. When you meet a radiologist who has only done CT scans in such circumstances let me know and I'll tell the Internet to withdraw their concern.

I'm not saying CT scans are regularly misused or counter-indicated, just that it's not unreasonable to expect your physician to explain why the believe a CT scan is justified given the inherent risk of cancer/etc.
 
2012-06-07 06:46:09 AM  
Um, doesn't everyone in healthcare who orders or performs a CT know this already?

/panic
//slow news day
///can't think of a third slashie comment....
 
2012-06-07 06:51:10 AM  
Occam's Disposable Razor: MRI's are fantastic for certain pathology. They're also slower and more expensive. If something ever knocks my kid in the head hard enough that we're worried about fractures or bleeds, I'd be damn happy for that CT though.

THIS!

While your child runs a very, very, very, very minute risk (According to the study, a 0.002% chance of increased complications later in life), CTs are done for things that will kill your child or turn them into a drooling vegetable dependent on a trach and g-tube for the rest of their life.. Very, very quickly.
 
2012-06-07 06:52:32 AM  

profplump: Occam's Disposable Razor: If something ever knocks my kid in the head

If all the CT scan is used for is diagnosis of acute head injuries, where less dangerous scans would be significantly slower or unavailable, there's probably no issue. When you meet a radiologist who has only done CT scans in such circumstances let me know and I'll tell the Internet to withdraw their concern.

I'm not saying CT scans are regularly misused or counter-indicated, just that it's not unreasonable to expect your physician to explain why the believe a CT scan is justified given the inherent risk of cancer/etc.


Sounds like we're basically in agreement. Everything that happens in a medical setting has risks. Hell, everything has risks, period. I prefer to think the people taking care of me or the people I work with have weighed these risks and deemed them acceptable. Maybe I'm a bit optimistic, but I sure don't look forward to the day that we need informed consent for chest x-rays.
 
2012-06-07 07:32:53 AM  

Vertdang: I've actually talked doctors OUT of getting CTs on people. The risk/reward wasn't great enough, and MRI is often a better imaging option (as long as no bone is necessary to view) while having ZERO ionizing radiation.


If you read TFA they found an increase of two illnesses per 10,000 CT scan patients. Obviously the risk isn't negligible, but at 1/5000 I'm not going to get that upset about it.

For comparison- that's the same risk of dying from travelling 50,000 miles by car, walking 3200 miles, smoking 280 cigarettes, spending 400 hours in a coal mine, flying 700,000 miles, etc.

There's a risk there, it's just a very small risk.
 
2012-06-07 07:54:36 AM  

Gleeman: The study estimated that the increased risk translated into one extra case of leukaemia and one extra brain tumour among 10,000 CT head scans of children aged under ten.

[imgs.xkcd.com image 459x185]

So, Subby thinks we should just be performing exploratory surgery to find those tumors?


This is the thread where we panic about fluoride maybe causing cancer when you drink a cup a day for the next 50 years, right?

Oh, that was the 1980s. I see. Good to know there's always something that never changes, i suppose...
 
2012-06-07 07:56:42 AM  
Remember, these are certified professionals doing these scans.
Just like the ones at the airports.
 
2012-06-07 08:00:18 AM  

vudukungfu: Remember, these are certified professionals doing these scans.
Just like the ones at the airports.


Only there's a significant gap in pay...
 
2012-06-07 08:17:45 AM  
vudukungfu: Remember, these are certified professionals doing these scans.
Just like the ones at the airports.


Except the two situations are not comparable in any way like you suggest.

Other than that, spot on, old chap.
 
2012-06-07 08:26:33 AM  
MRI is a better choice.

There is one possible side effect however...

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-06-07 08:42:15 AM  
My childhood head CT scans were caused by a brain tumor, so I'm getting a kick out of this thread...
 
2012-06-07 08:47:01 AM  

LazarusLong42: My childhood head CT scans were caused by a brain tumor, so I'm getting a kick out of this thread...


It was actually the first thing I thought of as I read this article.

What, you say? A correlation between frequent CT scans and brain cancer, Doctor? Perhaps that doesn't mean what you think it does...
 
2012-06-07 09:06:54 AM  

batcookie: Everyone knows radiation has some harmful effects, I'm more concerned with the study itself. I notice they didn't link to the full thing, but what do you wanna bet the researchers did not control for the variable of what symptoms led them to give the kid a CT scan... nothing irks me more than sloppy research.


I'm concerned at your inability follow the link to the Lancet where the study is the first featured story. It's not even just an abstract, the full study is available free (if you register). But even without registering, you can see a summary of the Methods which says:

In our retrospective cohort study, we included patients without previous cancer diagnoses who were first examined with CT in National Health Service (NHS) centres in England, Wales, or Scotland (Great Britain) between 1985 and 2002, when they were younger than 22 years of age. We obtained data for cancer incidence, mortality, and loss to follow-up from the NHS Central Registry from Jan 1, 1985, to Dec 31, 2008. We estimated absorbed brain and red bone marrow doses per CT scan in mGy and assessed excess incidence of leukaemia and brain tumours cancer with Poisson relative risk models. To avoid inclusion of CT scans related to cancer diagnosis, follow-up for leukaemia began 2 years after the first CT and for brain tumours 5 years after the first CT.
 
2012-06-07 09:09:49 AM  
Could. COULD!

and oblig

imgs.xkcd.com Link

I need to print this and carry it to meetings, because I've been meeting more people terrified of WiFi signals lately.

Stupid farking luddites.
 
2012-06-07 09:11:52 AM  
I think another important question is.... is this ALL modern CT scans, or more like CT scan machines from our childhood were more prone to this?
 
2012-06-07 09:13:45 AM  

etherknot: MRI is a better choice.

There is one possible side effect however...

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 300x400]


Homosexuality is not a side-effect of an MRI.
 
2012-06-07 09:22:56 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: etherknot: MRI is a better choice.

There is one possible side effect however...

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 300x400]

Homosexuality is not a side-effect of an MRI.


But it makes all your poles point the same way!
 
2012-06-07 09:25:12 AM  

pivazena: Um... but why were they getting CT scans in the first place?


In my nieces case, they were wondering why she couldn't turn her neck (and didn't have meningitis) and had trouble eating / drinking. She was just shy of 1 and they found a retro-pharyngeal infection, transferred her to UW Madison Children's hospital (none of the local surgeons wanted to try that surgery) and cleaned it up. She's now a happy, bouncy little girl, despite spending her first birthday in the hospital.

It sucks she needed one,
 
2012-06-07 09:30:30 AM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Vertdang: Occam's Disposable Razor: Trolltastic headline. There's not a medical professional alive who believes ionizing radiation is harmless, let alone when discussing children.

These scans are done when (hopefully) reward>risk.

I've actually talked doctors OUT of getting CTs on people. The risk/reward wasn't great enough, and MRI is often a better imaging option (as long as no bone is necessary to view) while having ZERO ionizing radiation.

Doctors can be smart people, but they know jack & shiat about what imaging entails.

/csb: We used to have a "radiation safety" course that we used to run for the new doctors, but they stopped doing it because the new docs felt like they didn't need to know how it worked. We were "wasting their time".

Not sure where they trained your docs, but even in the backwoods of Louisiana we're taught how many centiGrays and rads our tests are exposing patients to. I suppose a lot of people forget after awhile.

MRI's are fantastic for certain pathology. They're also slower and more expensive. If something ever knocks my kid in the head hard enough that we're worried about fractures or bleeds, I'd be damn happy for that CT though.


CTs for cranial bleeds MORE than makes up for the risk/reward. MRI's gonna take 1/2 an hour or more to do the same scan.

/also backwoods looozeanna represent (family from there)
 
2012-06-07 09:31:10 AM  

lohphat: Oh great, panorex (panoramic dental x-rays) on kids less than 10 years of age are implicated in a 4.9x occurrence of meningioma.

Thanks for the braces and brain cancer mom and dad!


90% benign, mostly asymptomatic, still quite rare. But don't let me disturb your panic.
 
2012-06-07 09:32:39 AM  

Fubini: Vertdang: I've actually talked doctors OUT of getting CTs on people. The risk/reward wasn't great enough, and MRI is often a better imaging option (as long as no bone is necessary to view) while having ZERO ionizing radiation.

If you read TFA they found an increase of two illnesses per 10,000 CT scan patients. Obviously the risk isn't negligible, but at 1/5000 I'm not going to get that upset about it.

For comparison- that's the same risk of dying from travelling 50,000 miles by car, walking 3200 miles, smoking 280 cigarettes, spending 400 hours in a coal mine, flying 700,000 miles, etc.

There's a risk there, it's just a very small risk.


there's small risk, and then there's unnecessary risk (even if small). again, it's risk vs reward.
 
2012-06-07 09:33:26 AM  

SkunkWerks: vudukungfu: Remember, these are certified professionals doing these scans.
Just like the ones at the airports.

Only there's a significant gap in pay...


and education.
 
2012-06-07 10:07:01 AM  
Nothing funnier than journalists pretending they understand science or medicine. Except maybe the general public who BELIEVE those pretensions.

Most journalism degrees don't even require an introductory-level science or math course in the curriculum.

Nothing to see here, go back to your homes, move along....
 
2012-06-07 10:19:26 AM  
I had a CT scan when I was 15... that might explain some of the lost brain cells.

Or that may just be the booze.
 
2012-06-07 11:24:08 AM  

Vertdang: CTs for cranial bleeds MORE than makes up for the risk/reward. MRI's gonna take 1/2 an hour or more to do the same scan.


There's a reason why a CT unit sits next to the trauma center, and not an MRI.


/had both
//MRI is too noisy
 
2012-06-07 11:51:56 AM  
Headline: CT scans in childhood can triple brain tumor, leukemia risk

Woooo ! Scary !!

Some people should read stuff:

"The study estimated that the increased risk translated into one extra case of leukaemia and one extra brain tumour among 10,000 CT head scans of children aged under ten."
 
2012-06-07 11:57:30 AM  

jfarkinB: lohphat: Oh great, panorex (panoramic dental x-rays) on kids less than 10 years of age are implicated in a 4.9x occurrence of meningioma.

Thanks for the braces and brain cancer mom and dad!

90% benign, mostly asymptomatic, still quite rare. But don't let me disturb your panic.


Welcometofark.jpg
 
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