In a little more than a decade, use of CT scans in the United States has gone from rare to common. Approximately 70 million CT scans were administered in 2007. However, according to the Annals of Internal Medicine, this useful tool could actually be causing an increased risk of cancer.
A study found that giving a 40-year-old just one heart CT scan—which, like an X-ray, uses a dose of radiation to see inside the body—would result in cancer in 1 in 270 women and 1 in 600 men. A different study estimates that 29,000 future cancers will have been related to radiation exposure from CT scans given in 2007.
One problem with CT scans could be lack of standardization in equipment, with some CT scans giving off more radiation than is necessary.