The risk is especially high for children. Researchers say that children are 10 times as sensitive to the radiation as adults are, putting them at an even greater cancer risk.
"Children's tissues are more sensitive to radiation, and they live longer than adults do, which means the cancer has more time to develop," says Cynthia McCollough, a radiological physicist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "However, if you need a CT scan, parents shouldn't lose a minute of sleep over it."
The reason parents shouldn't be too concerned is that the individual risk of developing cancer is small.
"One in four Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime," explains McCollough. "That's 25 percent. Radiation from CT scans when you are a baby increases your risk of developing cancer to 25.1 percent."Since last year, S. has been administered MRI's instead, which do not use radiation. But I AM concerned. Cancer freaks me out. I have had many members of my family suffer from cancer related illness or death. We have cared for a teen from Haiti who lost his leg above the knee from cancer. My mom recently had surgery because of cancer.