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Thread: Too much radiation! Scan anxiety

  1. #1

    Is this too much radiation? Major CT scan anxiety

    Hi guys...

    Iím really anxious over the amount of radiation Iíve received from CT scans, xrays and other radiology tests over the past few years.

    The worst part is NONE of them showed anything, so they were essentially for nothing. I felt so pressured by doctors to have them performed ďjust to be safeĒ so I did it, but now Iím regretting it after reading how dangerous they are.

    Iíve had:

    -1 head CT (because of persistent headache)

    -2 high res chest CTs (because of coughing blood)

    -1 abdominal CT with and without contrast (because of chronic abdominal pain and bloating)

    -6 abdominal xrays

    -So many chest X-rays I canít even count

    -Plus a gastric emptying test and ďsmall bowel follow through testĒ which both contain radiation.

    Iím 27 y/o and all of these scans have taken place in the last 4 years. Iím also very thin and female which are apparently most at risk. Great.

    I feel like I have ruined my body with excessive testing and have increased my chances of cancer. I know thereís no sense in having a mental breakdown over this because I canít go back in time and change it now. But I truly feel as if Iíve failed myself... I could have said no to the tests.

    I guess Iím just looking for a bit of support or reassurance from those who have had multiple tests themselves. I would really appreciate it as this is causing so much stress.

    Also, as a side note - does anyone know if itís common for doctors to have information saved in your record on how much mSv was used in each exam so I could have an accurate figure of my own exposure?

    Please help.
    Last edited by Radiationworried; 19-05-20 at 22:58.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    21,271

    Re: Too much radiation! Scan anxiety

    I'm a Head and Neck cancer survivor. Do you know what I was treated with? Aside from chemo coursing through my body, I had radiation treatment to my neck five days a week for six weeks to the point the skin was burnt and peeling off my neck and my throat turned into mush! It was so bad I literally couldn't eat and had to have a feeding tube put in just to get sustenance and take my meds. On top of that, I had a CT scan before each radiation treatment to help aim the radiation. I'm still here 7 years later and cancer free so......

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,309

    Re: Is this too much radiation? Major CT scan anxiety

    I had 6 CT scan in a matter of two weeks a few years ago when I had emergency abdominal surgery. Even the doctors were like... eeeek... by the end, which really worried me. But, I came across this article a few years ago and have seen others post it in here as well. It's a great explanation of how they've come up with predictions about the effect of cumulative radiation from common medical tests and why they are not necessarily any risk at all.

    https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.or...15)00591-1/pdf

    If I'm remembering correctly, the article says that the way we measure the effect of cumulative radiation exposure from medical tests isn't really sound because it compares doses accumulated over many years with single high dose instances (like Japanese exposed to one singular high dose of radiation from the atomic bomb). That's a poor way to discover the effects of CT scans and x-rays over time because our bodies are able to repair damage done from the small dose before being exposed to the next dose (unlike people living in rage of a nuclear explosion). Essentially, the predictions about the cancer risks of CT scans are almost entirely hypothetical extrapolations of data that don't really mirror the reality.

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