The scientists said simple shielding methods could be used to protect the girls' breast tissue during scoliosis X-rays, which expose patients cumulatively to far more radiation than X-rays taken for other conditions. Scoliosis appears between the ages of 10 and 15, when the spine is still growing, and affects 5 percent to 10 percent of all adolescents, according to the FDA. Aboutare severe enough to follow up, Showalter said.
The Problem: Radiation Exposure The diagnosis of scoliosis in children and adolescents requires the use of full spinal x-rays on which the Cobb angle is measured. Growing patients with scoliosis in risk for curve progression may be radiographed up to times per year for a total period of years. This may amount to a significant dose of radiation.
Childhood and adolescent exposure to radiation of the chest, neck or back is known to increase the risk of breast cancer in adulthood. Such exposure is typically due to diagnosis and treatment of certain cancers and other conditions. While one might expect survivors of childhood cancers to have higher rates of cancer in adulthood, the same does not necessarily hold for those with spinal disorders who received diagnostic x-rays rather than radiation treatment.
Many patients are concerned about the amount of radiation exposure they will receive during treatment and surveillance for scoliosis. Radiation exposure has been linked to some cancers, and doctors and patients alike want to minimize any risk that XR pose to patients. Since x-rays are one of the best ways to follow the progression of a curvature and determine the need for treatment, they are often a part of the care of a patient with scoliosis. Luckily, with modern techniques, the amount of radiation exposure can be minimized.
Study record managers: refer to the Data Element Definitions if submitting registration or results information. Scoliosis is a curving of the spine. It usually happens in girls when they are children and teens.
Daniel A. Hoffman, John E. Lonstein, Michele M.
The number of schools conducting scoliosis screening using non-radiographic methods has been increasing. Over one-half of the States conduct scoliosis screening programs, in some or all of their school jurisdictions, on children ages 9 to 14 years. An estimatedadolescents identified through the screening programs will require follow-up surveillance or treatment employing periodic x-ray examinations often several times a year until the child reaches skeletal maturity.
This Consensus paper reviews the literature on side effects of x-ray exposure in the pediatric population as it relates to scoliosis evaluation and treatment. Alternative methods of spinal assessment and imaging are reviewed, and strategies for reducing the number of radiographs are developed. Using the Delphi technique, SOSORT members developed consensus statements that describe how often radiographs should be taken in each of the pediatric and adolescent sub-populations.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making this a great time to talk about the proven link between breast cancer and scoliosis. One of the leading organizations on treating scoliosis, The Schroth Methodhas long recognized the correlation between breast cancer and scoliosis. Accordingly, the exposure to X-rays is so high, particularly patients with spinal distortions, that for women who are affected, the chance of breast cancer has been shown to be above average Nash et al. In a further study on the same issue, the incidence of breast cancer was seen to be twice as high for patients with scoliosis as it was for the control group Hoffmann et al.