Presented by Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, as reported in Medical News Today—Researchers conclude there is no proof that low-level radiation from medical imaging—such as X-ray and computed tomography scans—causes cancer. They say it is time to throw out an unproven, decades-old theoretical model that has led many people—doctors and regulators included—to believe otherwise.
Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers describe how the linear no-threshold model (LNT)—first proposed over 70 years ago—is used to estimate cancer risks from low-dose radiation, such as medical imaging.
But James Welsh, a radiation oncology professor at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University, Chicago, and his colleagues say that risk estimates based on the LNT model are only theoretical and as yet “have never been conclusively demonstrated by empirical evidence.”
They say persistent use of the LNT model by regulators and advisory bodies leads to unfounded fears and money being wasted on unnecessary safety measures.
As a result, many doctors are averse to recommending and using the most appropriate imaging procedures for their patients, and many patients are unnecessarily afraid to undergo them.