Sao Paulo, Brazil (PRWEB) June 26, 2012
A new medical study, published in the New York Times, offers frightening findings for parents—particularly for parents of children who have health problems. According to the report, one of the most common diagnostic tools used in hospitals and private medical practices—the CT scan—may actually have adverse effects on young people. In fact, the study finds that the CT scan may even be linked to childhood cancer development. Naturally, this report has drawn the attention of many, including members of the medical community, concerned parents, and cancer awareness activists, such as Helio Laniado.
The study reports that while the link between the CT scan and cancer is minor, it is also significant. In particular, the study finds that CT scans can cause a small but discernable increase in a child’s likelihood of developing leukemia, as well as brain cancer. The main takeaway of the study is that while CT scans should not be omitted from pediatric medicine or from diagnostics altogether, they should be used sparingly, only when necessary. Additionally, the study recommends that the CT scan be used on the lowest radiation setting possible.
The report has won the attention of activist Helio Laniado, who has long spoken out and given generously of his time and money to various children’s cancer-related charities. He is a strong supporter of Projecto Felicidade, a children’s cancer outreach in Brazil, which specializes in serving underprivileged communities. Laniado has responded to the new report with a press statement of his own, expressing both concern but also cautious optimism.
“There is obviously a reason why this report has caused such worry among so many, particularly among parents,” Helio Laniado says in his statement. “The thought that a medical instrument, supposedly useful for making out children better, could in reality have the opposite effect, is truly devastating.”
While he is troubled by the study, however, Laniado ultimately finds reason for measured optimism. “The silver lining in studies like this one is the reminder that our scientists and doctors are constantly learning more about the way cancer works,” he explains. “We do not like to hear that something like a CT scan could be harmful, yet we should be glad that the harm done by these machines has been discovered, so that, hopefully, fewer kids will be adversely affected by it.”
Ultimately, however, Helio Laniado sees this new report as reason enough to redouble existing efforts at cancer research. “Cancer in a child remains one of the saddest things there is, and while we may be getting closer to understanding it better, there are still many families that are devastated by cancer’s presence,” he says. “This is an opportunity for us all to remember what an awful threat cancer poses to our kids, and to increase our efforts at research, treatment, and ultimately finding a cure.”
Helio Laniado is an activist on behalf of Projecto Felicidade. An offshoot of Beit Chabad Brazil, Projeto Felicidade provides a wide array of programs to underprivileged Brazilian children stricken with cancer. The mission of the organization is simply to provide these children with an opportunity to smile and have fun through games, food, and warm, passionate care. Projeto Felicidade maintains partnerships with 35 local hospitals; these hospitals select worthy children for the program each week.