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Software 'cuts CT radiation risks'

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The radiation dose required for a colon scan with a clear computed tomography (CT) image can be reduced by half by using a new software programme, according to Reuters.

Recent research has indicated that a patient’s lifetime risk of developing cancer can be increased by CT images that use radiation, but a US study team told Reuters that the software reduced the “fuzz” in an image, meaning a clear picture can be produced with much less radiation.

Dr Daniel Johnson, of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, whose study appears in the American Journal of Roentgenology, said: “This new technique allows us to use far less radiation than even a typical abdominal CT scan without compromising image quality.”

Fellow researcher Dr Amy O’Hara, also of the Mayo Clinic, said: “The fact that we can now screen patients with an increasingly lower dose can allay concerns, attract more patients to be screened and ultimately save tens of thousands of lives each year.”

Sometimes called a virtual colonoscopy, CT scans of the colon are intended to replace tests where a camera is inserted into the rectum and threaded through the colon to look for cancerous growths. Radiation exposure fears have put many doctors off using CT scans, despite them being shown to be effective.

Click here to see the article from the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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