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Cancer risks associated with X-rays, CT scans are only theoretical: Study

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New York: The widespread belief that radiations from X-rays and CT scans can cause cancer has flaws and is based on an unproven theoretical model, suggests a study.

To estimate cancer risk from low-dose radiation, scientists used a model known as linear no-threshold (LNT) in the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

But risk estimates based on this model “are only theoretical and, as yet, have never been conclusively demonstrated by empirical evidence”, wrote researcher James Welsh from the Loyola University in Chicago.

The use of the LNT model drives unfounded fears and “excessive expenditures on putative but unneeded and wasteful safety measures”, Welsh noted.

In the LNT model, the well-established cancer-causing effects of high doses of radiation are extended downward in a straight line to very low doses.

The model dissuades many physicians from using appropriate imaging techniques and “discourages many in the public from getting proper and needed imaging, all in the name of avoiding any radiation exposure”, the researcher explained.

This model assumes there is no safe dose of radiation, no matter how small.

However, the human body has evolved the ability to repair damage from low-dose radiation that naturally occurs in the environment.

Studies of atomic bomb survivors and other epidemiological studies of human populations have never conclusively demonstrated that low-dose radiation exposure can cause cancer, according to the study.

Any claim that low-dose radiation from medical imaging procedures is known to cause cancer “should be vigorously challenged, because it serves to alarm and perhaps harm, rather than educate”, the scientists suggested.

The LNT model “should finally and decisively be abandoned”, the authors concluded. (IANS)(Photo: www.continentalhospitals.com)

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Cancer: Salient Features of The Killer Disease

There are more than 100 types of cancers; any part of the body can be affected

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Cancer: Salient Features of The Killer Disease
Cancer: Salient Features of The Killer Disease. Pixabay

* Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths.

* India has nearly 3 million cancer patients.

* A million new cases are reported in India every year.

* Deaths from cancer worldwide are estimated to reach 13.1 million deaths in 2030.

* Lung and oral cancer is the most common among men.

Cancer
Representational image. Pixabay

* Cervix and breast cancer is the most common among women.

* Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing 22 percent of global cancer deaths and 71 percent of global lung cancer deaths.

* Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each
year.

* Cancers such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be cured if detected early and treated properly.

Also Read: Outdoor Jobs Carry Different Risks of Skin Cancer

* There are more than 100 types of cancers; any part of the body can be affected.

* One-fifth of all cancers worldwide are caused by a chronic infection; for example human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and the hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer. (IANS)

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