One in every thousand children who undergo CT (computer tomography) scan procedures triggers the development of cancer due to the use of radiation, NSW-based radiologist say.
Cells of children and young adults are at a harmful risk of mutation because they are dividing at a higher pace during the time of the scan.
John and Margaret de Campo, radiologists at Tweed Hospital said that the study about the risk was well documented but results were not circulated to the community.
Survey of patients and referring doctors shows that they have limited knowledge about the risk that radiation may give to children during CT scans, hence most patients present during the scans are not aware of the risk., written by the radiologists in an article published by the Medical Journal of Australia.
They said that CT scans may cause fatal malignancy that may develop later in life. Studies showed that this may happen in one in 500 children under the age of one, one in 1,250 children up to ten years and one in 1,600 for those up to 20.
Radiologists points out that doctors who refer patients to CT scans must ask for written consent and provide patients with written information that states the danger posed by the procedure.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) said that poor doctor training and lack of government funding for alternative MRI scans leads to the overuse of CT scans.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) doesn't carry the same cancer risk as that from CT scans and produces more relevant results.