Young expatriates should not be unduly concerned about having a computed tomography (CT) scan through an international healthcare provider, research has shown.
The study, which will be presented to the American Roentgen Ray Society's annual meeting today (May 1st), revealed people aged 18 to 35 who had one of these tests were more than 35 times more likely to die from their illness than to develop cancer through the radiation.
It was conducted at three Boston hospitals and involved the analysis of 23,359 individuals, some of which had gone through the CT scanner over 15 times.
Among the 8,113 who had their chest examined, 575 were dead after around four years, while there were 12 cases of radiation-induced tumours.
In the 15,226-strong abdominopelvic CT group, after around 3.5 years 1,124 had passed on, while the predicted cancer incidence was 23.
"Our results indicate that the risk from underlying disease overshadows risk from CT radiation-induced malignancy, even in young adults," one of the study's authors Rob Zondervan said.
CT scans are comparable to ordinary X-rays but produce a far more detailed image that can be viewed in three dimensions.