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ARE TOO MANY X-RAYS DANGEROUS?
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ARE TOO MANY X-RAYS DANGEROUS?

I'm a 33 year old female in pretty good health... except for the fact that I suffer from anxiety. I worry about my health almost all the time. Last year 2006 I was convinced something was wrong with me.... I had headaches, bodyaches, chest pain, etc. From Sept. 2005 to April 2006 I was in the ER room just about every other week! Of course in the ER they take x-rays to figure out what could be wrong. Well, nothing ever showed up and I was told that I was suffering from anxiety/ panic attacks. I am better now with the help of a self help program and I am currently on vitamin therapy which has helped me tremendously! I still worry about my health though, but I make it a point to get a physical yearly. I worry about the damage I could have done to myself with so many x-rays! They were all pretty much unecessary! Here are a list of x-rays I have had from
August 2005- Jan 2007:


August 2005-----dental x-rays
Sept.2005-----Ct scan of the head
Jan.2006---- venogram (looking for pulmonary embolism)
Jan.2006---- Ct. scan of the head
Feb.2006---- Chest x-ray
April 2006----Chest x-ray
Jan 2007----- Ct. scan of head (was in car accident)

I am beating myself up for not having control and running to the ER back then.... and putting myself in danger with all these x-rays! I AM VERY VERY WORRIED! I have a child and I feel so guilty! I've read it could be dangerous.....and I've also been told not to worry!?!
So my question is.... COULD TOO MANY X-RAYS BE DANGEROUS? CAN THEY EVENTUALLY CAUSE CANCER LATER ON IN LIFE?
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Avatar_n_tn
There will always be the risk of cumulative radiation exposure from repeated X-rays.  

According to the FDA, a CT scan can increase the risk of lifetime cancer of about 1 in 2000, as compared to the natural population (1 n 5).  Thus, it will be much smaller than the natural risk of cancer, but still present.  

More can be found in this FDA document:
http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/fullbody-ctscan/risks.htm

As for plain film x-rays - there is some conflicting data.  This study suggests an annual increased risk of 0.9% in the US due to plain film radiation films:
http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/dinews/2004021301.shtml

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
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200828_tn?1209921575
I have the exact same worries about radiation.  I too suffer from anxiety.  Last summer I had a routine chest x-ray with my physical.  They found an abnormality which was further analyzed with a chest CT.  To make a long story short, I am in no immediate danger.  But I started reading about the radiation involving CT scans and I freaked out.  But my doctor said that it's safe because it is a newer type of CT scan that does the scan very quickly thus limiting the exposure.  Every doctor I spoke to said to not worry about a single CT scan.  It's very confusing.  I don't wanna take x-rays anymore because of what I read but my doctor wants me to take one right now because I've been experiencing shortness of breath that is most likely due to anxiety but he just wants to make sure.  I'm also spitting tiny amounts of blood in the morning that may be due to an illness I had earlier in the month.  I don't know if I should take a chest x-ray because they may see something suspicious and order another CT scan, which I really don't wanna take cuz of the radiation I read about.

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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 25 year old female who for the past year has been suffering from anxiety. Within the past 2 months I have been to my family doctor countless times and I have visited the er 3 times.  The worry all began when I started feeling a lump in my throat when I would swallow so my doctor sent me for an ultrasound on my thyroid which revealed a nodule.  Well the thyroid area was not where I was feeling the lump so I got really worried late at night and decided to go to the hospital where they gave me an x ray on my neck and discovered nothing unusual.  so then a week later I was having chest pain so I went back to the hospital where they gave me a chest x ray and once again found nothing.  In the same week I had a dental checkup and they did some dental x rays to see if I had any cavities.  And I have been having bad headaches that have been going on for quite a while so I went back to my doctor and he thinks that I am having tension headaches but he knows that I need to put my mind at rest so he set up an appointment for me to have a head ct my dentist also wants me to make an appointment with the tmj doctor about my jaw pain and I know that he will do another x ray also 8 months ago I had a chest x ray and a neck x ray.  Help Im so worried about all these x rays am I in danger oh and i also had dental x rays last year
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, too many x-ray and cll was started.
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