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Diagnostic X-rays linked to increased risk of childhood leukemia


Narrator:       This is Science Today. The link between high doses of radiation and cancer is well known, but there's still debate about the health impacts from low doses of radiation typical of conventional, diagnostic X-rays. Now, research at the University of California, Berkeley, has found X-rays are linked to an increased childhood leukemia risk. Karen Bartley, a doctoral student of epidemiology, is co-author of the study.

Bartley:          I think the main message is that we can't tell in our study whether the increased risk is due to any particular type of procedure, so future research should focus on possibly parsing out these different types of X-rays, looking at the risk associated with these different medical procedures and then in the meantime, I think that parents just need to work with their clinicians to make sure that the children — that their children are receiving the appropriate medical care that they should be receiving based on their conditions.

Narrator:       Bartley adds that clinicians are already judicious about radiation exposure. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.