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Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation
Date:2/7/2011

as 63.2 years and 31.7% were women. Patients whose treating physician was a cardiologist had higher levels of exposure to radiation compared with those whose treating physician was a general practitioner. There were 12 020 incident cancers detected during follow up, with two-thirds of the cancers affecting the abdomen/pelvis and chest areas. "These results call into question whether our current enthusiasm for imaging and therapeutic procedures after acute myocardial infarction should be tempered," conclude the authors. "We should at least consider putting into place a system of prospectively documenting the imaging tests and procedures that each patient undergoes and estimating his or her cumulative exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation."

In a related commentary, http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj101885.pdf Mathew Mercuri, McMaster University, and coauthors write that, although the radiation exposure of many tests is often low, "the frequency with which such tests are performed may pose a population risk." They state the best solution may be prevention, which could mean using procedures with lower or no radiation exposure, especially if there are multiple procedures involved. They call for programs to track radiation doses to help patients and physicians track the risk of cumulative exposure.


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Contact: Kim Barnhardt
kim.barnhardt@cmaj.ca
613-520-7116 x2224
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Source:Eurekalert

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