Exposure of pregnant women to X-rays may be linked to an increased risk of cancer for the child.
In this study, the researchers gathered a number of mothers who were exposed to X-ray exams during pregnancy. The results showed that the children born from these mothers had an increased risk of developing leukemia and childhood cancers.
At the same time, children during infancy who were exposed to an X-ray examination at least once, were also found to have an increased, albeit insignificant, risk of having childhood cancers.
Overall, the stronger risk was shown to be in those children whose mothers went through X-ray procedures during pregnancy, as opposed to those children who had X-ray scans during infancy.
The researchers also analyzed the effects of ultrasound in pregnant women and on infants, but found that there were no significant findings concerning the procedure.
X-rays contain lower doses of radiation when compared to the computed tomography scan (CT scan). This implied that physicians should use caution when employing radiation when a woman is pregnant as the amount of radiation could be harmful to an unborn baby’s health.
As certain scans show cancer risks to unborn children, diagnostic procedures with radiation should be used with caution in pregnant women, especially around the area of the pelvis/abdomen, as well as in very young children.