(HealthDay News) – Immediate health risks supersede lifetime radiation-induced cancer risk in patients undergoing computed tomography (CT) surveillance for testicular cancer, according to a study published in the March issue of Radiology.

Pari V. Pandharipande, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues developed a model to project outcomes in patients with testicular cancer who were undergoing CT surveillance in the decade after orchiectomy. Life expectancy losses and lifetime mortality risks due to testicular cancer were compared with life expectancy losses and lifetime mortality risks due to radiation-induced cancers from CT to quantify effects of early vs. delayed risks.

The researchers found that 33-year-old men with stage I seminoma who were undergoing CT surveillance were projected to incur a slightly higher lifetime mortality risk from testicular cancer (598 per 100,000; 95% uncertainty interval [UI], 302–894) than from radiation-induced cancers (505 per 100,000; 95% UI, 280–730). Testicular cancer-attributable life expectancy was more than three times greater than life expectancy loss attributable to radiation-induced cancers (83 days [95% UI, 42–124] vs. 24 days [95% UI, 13–35]). Similar trends were seen across modeled scenarios.

“Lifetime radiation risk estimates, when used for decision making, may overemphasize radiation-induced cancer risks relative to short-term health risks,” the authors write.

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