Repeated CT Scans During COVID Increases Cancer Risk

5 May, 2021 16:24 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi: The data from the International Atomic Energy Commission for Radiation Protection and Medicine has shown an increased risk of cancer in later life as a result of frequent CT scans, particularly if done at a young age, according to the AIIMS director Dr. Randeep Guleria.

Unnecessary dependence on biomarkers, according to AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, can lead to overtreatment, which can damage the body.

Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS, issued a warning on Monday (May 3rd) about patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms misusing CT scans and biomarkers, claiming that overuse of CT scans raises radiation exposure, which increases the risk of cancer.

"No point in conducting CT scans for mild cases; one may find patches in CT scan even if he/she is asymptomatic but may get cured easily 1 CT Scan = 300-400 Chest X-rays! With frequent CTs, risk of cancer in later life increases, for youngsters," Guleria warned, stating that evidence from the International Atomic Energy Commission for Radiation Safety and Medicine has shown that repeated CT scans, particularly when done at a young age, increase the risk of cancer later in life.

Guleria tackled the issue of misdiagnosis, claiming that it isn't necessary in the case of mild symptoms. "A lot of people are getting CT scans done and deems it important to get CT scans done if their Covid tests turn out to be positive," he said.

Guleria cited a study that found patches in the CT scans of 30-40% of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients that healed on their own without treatment. He used the study to demonstrate that a CT scan is unnecessary in case of a mild infection under home isolation with no problems or decrease in saturation because some patches would appear.

Biomarkers such as CRP, D-Dimer, LDH, Ferritin, and others, he added, are useless in cases of mild symptoms and normal saturation levels because they only cause panic.

"All these biomarkers are acute phase reactants, which means if there is any kind of inflammation in the body these markers will soar. If you get acne or zit, injury, infection in your teeth then also these biomarkers will increase because it's your body's inflammatory response. So, it fails to accurately show if the viral disease has increased," the AIIMS chief said.

Over-reliance on biomarkers can lead to over-treatment, which can be harmful to the body. "Do biomarkers only when you have moderate illness and on the advice of your doctors," Guleria suggested.

According to data from the Union health ministry, India recorded more than 368,000 new Covid-19 infections and 3417 deaths in the last 24 hours.

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