How great would it be if you could give patients concrete numbers when you are talking about cancer risk and CT? Well, Dr. Hans Rosenberg (Univ of Ottawa)  has come up with just such a table.

Using this table you can say that the risk is about “one in …”

PV Card: Cancer Risk from CT

Adapted from [1] Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.


  1. Smith-Bindman R. Radiation Dose Associated With Common Computed Tomography Examinations and the Associated Lifetime Attributable Risk of Cancer. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(22):2078. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.427
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD