X-ray procedures done on extremely obese people require higher doses of radiation, than people with normal weight. A new study has found that the higher dose increases cancer risk for them. The study researched 630 obese people who had undergone surgery for weight loss. These people had received higher doses of radiation during X-ray, because of the increased amount of tissue that was to be viewed. The study was able to conclude that the extra radiation from the X-ray procedures was more than double at 153% than the radiations used on people with normal-weight.
However, in contrast the study authors stressed that the risk of cancer from X-ray radiations is low, in comparison to its contribution for saving countless lives by detecting abnormalities in the body.
“Although the risk of cancer from X-ray is very low, we urgently need more research in patients who are overweight and obese, so we can understand how to minimise doses in this group and feed into far more robust guidelines around radiation, in turn to minimise that risk.”
Because higher dosage causes more damage to cells, radiations are kept as low as reasonably possible. The study also threw light on the fact that currently there is no guidance system that helps radiographers to minimize radiations in obese people.
This has lead to them working on the issue to produce prediction models that will help radiographers to choose the best technical factors based on the patients’ size.
Study co-author Richard Welbourn, a consultant bariatric surgeon at Musgrove Park Hospital concluded by saying “Patients should not be put off having the X-rays they need to investigate disease as they are often crucial in getting the right treatment.