Are there risks associated with a computed tomography scan?

Some people may be concerned about the amount of radiation they receive during a computed tomography (CT) scan. It is true that the radiation exposure from a CT scan can be higher than from a regular x-ray. However, not having the procedure can be more risky than having it, especially if cancer is suspected. People considering CT must weigh the risks and benefits.

In very rare cases, contrast agents can cause allergic reactions. Some people experience mild itching or hives (small bumps on the skin). Symptoms of a more serious allergic reaction include shortness of breath and swelling of the throat or other parts of the body. People should tell the technologist immediately if they experience any of these symptoms, so they can be treated promptly.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

Continue Learning about Cancer Diagnosis

5 Ways to Stay Emotionally Fit After a Cancer Diagnosis
5 Ways to Stay Emotionally Fit After a Cancer Diagnosis
When you’ve been diagnosed with cancer many of the conversations and decisions that follow will focus on your physical health. But you also need to ca...
Read More
What is spiral computed tomography?
Piedmont Heart InstitutePiedmont Heart Institute
A spiral (or helical) computed tomography (CT) scan is a new kind of CT. During a spiral CT, the x-r...
More Answers
How do pathologists diagnose cancer?
Riverside Cancer Care CenterRiverside Cancer Care Center
Pathologists are physicians specially trained to identify (and provide a definitive diagnosis of...
More Answers
Can My Mind Help Me Fight Cancer?
Can My Mind Help Me Fight Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.