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Can a computed tomography (CT) scan cause cancer?

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A CT scans uses powerful X-rays, a form of radiation, to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Radiation is a known possible cause of cancer. CT scans expose you to more radiation than other imaging tests, like X-rays and mammograms. For example, one chest CT scan delivers the amount in 100 to 200 X-rays. That might sound like a lot, but the total amount you get is still very small.

But the chances of getting cancer from a CT scan are very low. And for many people, the test is worth the small risk of radiation exposure. It can help doctors spot dangerous health problems and check that treatment works.

From: Can CT Scans Lead to Cancer? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Can I avoid exposure to radiation from x-rays and gamma rays?"

FDA: "What are the Radiation Risks from CT?"

Mayo Clinic: "CT scan: Definition," "CT scan: Why it's done," "Tests and Procedures: CT Scan."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Scan Safety: A Radiation Reality Check."

National Cancer Institute: "Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Cancer," "Radiation."

Radiological Society of North America: "I've had many CT scans. Should I be concerned?"

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 27, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Can I avoid exposure to radiation from x-rays and gamma rays?"

FDA: "What are the Radiation Risks from CT?"

Mayo Clinic: "CT scan: Definition," "CT scan: Why it's done," "Tests and Procedures: CT Scan."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Scan Safety: A Radiation Reality Check."

National Cancer Institute: "Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Cancer," "Radiation."

Radiological Society of North America: "I've had many CT scans. Should I be concerned?"

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 27, 2017

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How much radiation do you get from a CT scan?

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