American Morning

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December 15th, 2009
11:00 AM ET

CT scans linked to cancer

There are serious questions today about the safety of CT scans. Two new studies now suggest they deliver far more radiation than previously reported, and may actually cause thousands of cancer cases in this country each year.

Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta joined us on Tuesday's American Morning to discuss the risks and benefits of CT scans.


Filed under: Dr. Gupta's Mailbag • Health
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. DDS

    Cat Scans have 10 Times the radiation That The two Bombs in NAGASAKI,And Hirshima

    March 15, 2010 at 4:39 am |
  2. Norman Lefebvre

    Hey, he is part of the CNN entertainment group.
    A smiling talking head presented to the public as an authority like the rest of their team.
    I got tired of it and tuned in to Graham Ledger at Wealth TV

    January 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  3. marlene the dream

    As imaging modalities improve in quality, doctors tend order CT scans often because they are quick and easy, and offer a lot of good diagnostic information. Patients must weigh the diagnostic benefits against the risk. Bottom line – no one knows for sure whether CT scans cause cancer. But it's up to the patient to make sure that any requested imaging exams are necessary, including traditional x-ray, and that they are conducted in the most limited manner possible. All patients should be shielded as much as possible during any imaging exam. If it's not automatically used or offered – ASK – particularly in the case of pediatric patients.

    January 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  4. A. Smith, Oregon

    It is a utter and complete disgrace upon the Medical Community to find out after the fact that patients have been receiving far more radiation from CT Scans and X-ray equipment than previously thought.

    ALL CT scanners have a audit control that immediately shows anyone that looks exactly how much radiation was absorbed by that patient. It is a total lack of duty to not inspect the radiation audit controls in a timely manner, at least once a day to insure the settings and operators are subjecting the patients to the lowest possible radiation needed for the photos and scans.

    I can't imagine someone like Dr. Sanjay Gupta coming out and stating 'well it seems the radiation risk is higher than we thought!'

    That's a utter falsehood. The amount of ionizing radiation which is acceptable has been determined since the early 1910 period of Xray technology. Computerized Xray scanners have computerized controls which record the total amounts of ionizing radiation given per session. Anyone that checks the audit controls knows exactly how much ionizing radiation is being used. How much ionizing radiation is acceptable has been know long before Dr. Gupta was even born.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm |