Killing children with X-ray images - Death by
Monday, August 06, 2012
(NaturalNews) Children are more radio-sensitive than adults and children
undergoing CT scans have triple the risk of leukemia and brain cancer after two
or three CT scans according to a recent article in the Lancet. Doctors
think the benefits usually outweigh their risks, but "radiation is known to
carry a hard-to-calculate, elevated, long-term probability of induced cancers",
according to Marta Hernanz-Schulman, MD, chair of the American College of
Radiology Pediatric Imaging Commission.
Children are especially vulnerable to ionizing radiation because they absorb
more radiation per volume of tissue than adults. Ionizing radiation applied to
children is especially damaging as children are growing and have more
radio-sensitive cell divisions occurring than an adult. Additionally, a longer
life awaits children than adults, presenting them with more time for
radiation-induced cancers to develop.
Who is at risk?
The concern doesn't stop with children. Use of advanced diagnostic imaging like
CT scans and MRIs has increased substantially - nearly tripling between 1996 and
2010 and climbing. Radiation exposure from CT scans quadrupled per capita and
ultrasonography increased approximately two-fold during the same period. PET
scans have increased by 57 percent annually since 2004.
Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD and colleagues at UCSF studied the use of imaging in
patients in HMOs to examine the patterns of imaging over time and cumulative
doses of radiation that
patients receive. Arguing for a more prudent use of imaging, Dr. Smith-Bindman
states: "We need to change the way we practice as physicians... We need to fund
comparative effectiveness research that helps us understand when imaging is
helpful and when it may potentially lead to more harm than good."
In some HMOs, they are now issuing warning messages when a physician orders an
imaging procedure. But as Dr. Berrington de Gonzalez told Medscape: "It
would be worth investigating further whether these warnings may have impacted
the levels of use."
FDA makes a "suggestion"
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took action recently by releasing
proposed guidance encouraging manufacturers to consider the safety of
children in the design of
new X-ray imaging devices. The federal agency recommended equipment features
that would alter the performance of X-ray imaging devices designed for general
clinical use to address the specific requirements of younger patients. This
"suggestion" was published after more than a decade of explosive use growth and
radiation damage linked
to medical applications that exposed patients to ionizing radiation.
Suggested guidelines for X-ray imaging devices for pediatric imaging include
features geared toward imaging smaller patients with preset pediatric control
settings, such as: labeling, and protocols minimizing radiation exposure,
display and recording of patient dose or dose index, interactive software
display features that alert the user to special pediatric issues, automatic
exposure controls calibrated for children, user guides for pediatric use with
attention to dose-savings features for children.
Doctors who own their MRI machines sell more MRIs than those who send patients
out. Dr. Sigvard T. Hansen, Jr., a professor of orthopedics and sports medicine
at the University of Washington, says he pretty much spurns such scans
because they rarely provide useful information about the patients he sees -
those with injuries to the foot and ankle. "Patients often feel like they are
getting better care if people are ordering fancy tests, and there are some
patients who come in demanding an M.R.I. - that's part of the problem," he said.
Truth be told, studies show that outcomes between patients with MRIs vs.
standard X-rays have either no difference in outcome or sometimes better
outcomes with standard X-rays.
The choice is ultimately yours. People with better insurance endure more
procedures than those without sufficient insurance. Question your doctor closely
any time they offer ionizing radiation tests. Consider the long-term
consequences. 20 years from now the cancer in your body may never be associated
to the original cause.
Sources for this article
Lancet. Published online June 7, 2012
About the author:
Craig Stellpflug is a Cancer Nutrition Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Neuro
Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ.
http://www.healingpathwayscancerclinic.com/ With 17 years of clinical
experience working with both brain disorders and cancer, Craig has seen
first-hand the devastating effects of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on the human
body and has come to the conclusion that a natural lifestyle and natural
remedies are the true answers to health and vibrant living. You can find his
daily health blog at
www.blog.realhealthtalk.com and his articles and radio show archives at