Pregnancy x-ray can lead to childhood cancer
Doctors often ask for an x-ray scan if they are worried about the health of a fetus, but they are also increasing the chances of the child developing cancer, researchers warn this week.
Doctors usually recommend a CT scan if they are worried that the child is not developing properly, or if there is a health concern, but scientists suggest that a safer diagnostic tool should be used instead.
Although the risk from the scans is low, the researchers reckon that it increase the chances of childhood cancer 1.8 times. They stress that there is no risk with the standard ultrasound scan, a favourite of most parents who want to see images of their developing child on a screen.
(Source: PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7: e1000337).