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Please help!! - Multiple CT scans, Heart Cath & Radiation Risks..
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Please help!! - Multiple CT scans, Heart Cath & Radiation Risks..

A year and a half ago I had abdominal pain that woudlnt go away, so my Gastro doc orderd a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis. This was essentially two ct scans in one. The test was normal, and later I was only diagnosed with a minor hernia. 3 weeks ago, I was diagnosed with prostitis. After medication failed to work, the urologist insisted that I have a full abdominal ct scan so he could rule out prostate stones/cancer. The scan turned out to be normal. In addition, for the last 5 years, I have been experincing heart palpatations and occasional minor chest pain when I do any heavy excerise. Since the heart symptoms seem to not be going away, I went to a cardiologist a week ago who did an ultrasound and ekg. Both tests were normal but my symptoms were still present. He then insisted that I have a nuclear stress test done. Unfortunately, the nuclear stress test showed areas of concern and he's insisting that I have an Heart Cath wich will involve radiation dosage equal to a full abdominal ct scan, or more.

So in less than two years I've had already had two full abdominal ct scans, a Nuclear Stress test, and now I'm supposed to do a Heart Cath. I told my cardiologist of my concerns for all this sudden radiation, and he seemed to just shrug it off as if there's no "real" risk, despite what I've had done already. My question is, if I go through with the Heart Cath, what's my realistic cancer risk becuase of all these tests?? Despite all of the above, I'm actually a thin, 32 years old (male) non smoker and take fairly good care of myself.
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146866_tn?1199599344
Those are valid concerns and avoiding unnecessary radiation is a good idea. However although possible that you could get cancer from the radiation it is highly improbable. Make sure that you really need the test and if you do then you should probably get it done. It will help you figure out what is happening and put your mind at ease.
good luck.
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182474_tn?1223954159
The level of radiation from the heart catheterization is pretty low, and worth the reassurance that everything's ok with the heart.

I agree that the level of radiation exposure from that list of tests is very low and it's inconceivable that it would lead to cancer.

Enoch Choi, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I know exactly how you feel.  

Since Dec 05, I have had 3 CT's (chest) and a CT-A (the angiogram catscan).  Now my ob wants me to have a abdominal ct scan for pain.  My gastro doc wanted this 9 months ago but I had already had 2 ct's at that time with the CT-A already scheduled so I refused it.  I am concerned about this and was really glad to see your post.  My last two CT's were at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and they assured me that there was minimal risk.  It is nice to see that seconded here.

Good luck to you!!  
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Avatar_n_tn
I found I had cancer this summer since then I have had the following tests

xray back
ct of chest
ct of pelvic
bone scan
ct of body
bone scan
ct of chest
ct of pelvic
x-ray chest
PET Scan
and in 2 weeks: another CT chest
xray for son, and I had to hold him for the test

I agree with the doctor - if they are needed then they are worth it.  They too also tell me that the risk is low and they are needed.  They are watching lumps every 3 monthes and now moved one lump to CT every 6 weeks.  That means a CT of chest every 6 weeks until they feel its not cancer or we just take it out.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
So know what you are going through. I had one done Jan 2, and Jan 3, Jan 19 and then another in the middle of may....My urologist about died when I told him after the fact of already having 3 others! He said that each view is about equal to 600 x-rays!!!!!!!! He said if he knew that I had already had the others there is no way he would have done his. (I was in ER with a lot, a lot of drugs...barely remember even having this done) Its just funny after all of that I am 29 a yr later and now with a new prob. and they dont want to do the mamogram (mammogram), because there is like a 0.000001% chance it could increase my chance of getting breast cancer....are you KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who knows if you really get to much radiation...I think that you do. I also think that they are important, however when they are being used wisely, and not abused like in our case. I was told by one of my Doc's that they can use MRI for 3 out of the 4 CTs that I had done, and they do a better job with what I had going on so why didnt they do that?~who knows, probably more money for CTs is my guess....ask your doc if they could use the MRI instead for other things that they are looking for..the heart thing...they wont though. Good luck! Hey-if you find anything out on risks of CT pass it on!
Rachthrasher
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Avatar_m_tn
I know how you feel, just this past week i had batteriies in a pacemaker replaced, same camera is used I believe, complications there were complications and this normally 1 hour procedure took 4.5 hours. I dont know the lenght of time is ok under this type of radiation , maybe someone has knowledge in this area
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Avatar_n_tn
im only 28 ive had 5 ct scans in 3 years and im worried about the radition can someone help me please is there a test i can i do
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