CT Scan Risks

What can too much radiation do to a child? Can it cause death?

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

There is a tiny increased risk of cancer with each tiny increase in radiation exposure. These cancers are not found at the time of the CT scan, but decades later. Since so much time lapses by and since we are exposed to small levels of radiation every day, it is very difficult to determine exactly what the ultimate risk of cancer from a single CT scan may be. It’s not common, but some people do eventually die as a result of an earlier CT scan. Also, the radiation from head CT’s can cause significant eventual damage to the lens of the eye.

Read More From This Series:
CT Scan Defined
CT Scan, Ultrasound or MRI?
CT Scan Safety
CT Scans and Radiation Exposure
CT Scan Risks
Higher Risks in Children
Who Should Receive a CT Scan?
X-Ray or a CT Scan?
Alternatives to a CT Scan
When Should a CT Scan be Performed?
Important Tip to Reduce to Radiation
Questions to Ask before Every CT Scan
Other Radiation Exposures
Measures That Radiologists Should Adhere to When Administering a CT Scan
CT Scans and Cancer
When are MRIs not Practical?
What is Ionizing Radiation?
Who are Radiologists?

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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  1. Marek

    Hallo, we have 6 year old daughter. She started to have sinus problems so she had lots of antibiotics and she had sinus surgery last November. We did x-ray and then ct scan before the surgery. Now after the surgery she still have sinuses and even the cough came after that. The doctors tried different things but now they want to do another ct scan to check sinuses (if they did it right) and lungs if she has any damaged. They did x-ray of the lungs few months ago and she had mucus there. They were thinking she may have astma but it doesn’t look like that. We are so scare to do other ct scan since she had two x-rays and 1 ct scan few months ago but the doctors telling we need to do it to see what is going on. I am super worry about the risk of cancer because past year she went thru a lot. She was always super healthy child until the sinuses came. Thanks a lot Marek

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