New book stresses caution regarding radiation dose to breasts

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A new book evaluates the risks of inducing breast cancer as a result of the ionizing radiation received during CT exams of the thorax and upper abdomen. The portion was contributed by Imaging Diagnostic Systems Director of Clinical Research, Eric Milne, MD.
The book cites results stemming from research Milne conducted in 1992 that demonstrated that large doses of ionizing radiation, equivalent to the dose from 15 to 60 mammograms, are absorbed by the female breast as a result of each chest CT exam. Milne suggests that referring physicians should carefully weigh the clinical necessity for thoracic scans in female and pediatric patients and cautions against the use of CT scans as a screening procedure for lung cancer, coronary artery calcification, or pediatric lung disease.
"The number of CT scans performed per year, for every 1,000 persons, has increased enormously in the U.S.A. over the last five years," Milne said. "We now hold the world record at 172.5 scans for every group of 1,000 people. A conservative estimate of the carcinogenic effects of this massive irradiation would indicate an increase of 16,000 breast cancers."
The book, "Cancer Imaging: Lung and Breast Carcinomas," is currently on press and will be published by Elsevier.