Harvard Men's Health Watch

Do CT scans cause cancer?

For older men the risk from diagnostic CT scans is relatively small.

By one estimate, Americans have more than 70 million CT scans every year. This raises a concern: The scans expose people to x-rays, and this so-called ionizing radiation can damage cells and lead to cancer down the road. But for older men, CT scanning does not present a great risk compared with the benefits of diagnostic scans.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »