O.k. this is really eating at me. About eight months ago, I got a CT scan on my head at the ER for a splitting headache (turned out to be inflammation of the mastoid and sinus infection). About a month ago, I got a CT scan with contrast for chest pain that had been persistent for about six months. Well this week, I went to an urgent care facility for pain in my lower right abdomen and the doctor says though I don't show all the signs, I might have appendicitis, and I should get an abdominal/pelvis CT scan. I somehow failed to mention my previous CT scan and just went along with it because I heard appendicitis and freaked. I told the person administering the scan and she didn't seem to think anything of it, but then again she was a nurse. After it turned out to just be a swollen lymph node, I am sitting here thinking I have exposed myself to extreme amounts of radiation and at 21 years of age too. How dangerous might these scans be? Should I be worried? Three in eight months? Two in one month?
I did the same thing you did. In 10/07 I got a kidney CT scan. In 03/08 I got a chest CT scan along with a conventional x-ray on a visit to the ER for chest pain. in 4/08 I got a Nuclear stress test that I now find out exposes you to as much radiation as a CT scan. And, finally, I had a cardiac 16 slice MDCT scan of my coronary arteries. I have had heart problems and I was so worried about the heart that I did not think about the radiation exposure while I was doing these tests. It finally dawned on me what I had done to myself. I sat down and calculated how much radiation I had exposed myself to and it turned out to be 43.1 mSV (milli sieverts). Just so happens that is more than the Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb blast in WW2. These people were studied and they had a much higher rate of cancer over time! The dosage of 43.1 mSV is equivalent to over 2100 conventional chest x-rays or 18 years of normal radiation we are exposed to on a regular basis!
So I am screwed! My chance of lung cancer/colon cancer over the next 5-20 years has greatly increased. Presently,It has been 6 weeks since my last radiation procedure. I already am having extremely dry eyes and a rash on my face. I am suffering extreme anxiety over this, but there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. I asked the Dr. on this forum about this and he/she never answered my post. Someone should give you this info before they do all these damn tests on you. I did not realize the amount of radiation I was being exposed to in such a short time.
Having said all that, I think you are OK if you are not experiencing any problems (nausea, rash, etc.). Just try to do everything you can to avoid any kind of CT scans/X-rays in the future. Also, I am 55 y/o male, so my lifespan is a lot less than yours.You will be OK, Just tell the DR. no when he comes after you withthe CT scan. They will scan yoou now for a nosebleed if you allow it!!
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