• 2 months ago

    Cancer concern

    My gf is having a lot of CAT scans and xrays done on her because of her hand. These xrays in combination with xrays from dental appointments and regular radiation from sun has me concerned about cancer. At what point does it start becoming more of a risk factor? Thank you

Responses

  • RE: Cancer concern

    You make a great point about understanding (and minimizing) your risk for cancer from radiation.

    The first thing to note is that ionizing radiation (radiation that causes damage to our DNA), is all around us in our environment. It’s estimated that about 50% of our exposure to ionizing radiation comes from the world around us (like the sun, which you mentioned.) Another large proportion of exposure for the US population comes from medical tests, like CT scans and x-rays.

    While there is no study that links radiation exposure from medical tests to cancer risk at this time, many physician groups are concerned about the risks over a lifetime. CT scans, in particular, give a higher radiation dose than x-rays. In fact, 1 CT scan of your abdomen can expose you to the same amount of radiation as 80 standard chest x-rays.

    Given all of this information, it is really important to talk to your doctor about choosing the best test to diagnose and follow your condition over time so that you have the least amount of radiation exposure. In some cases, these medical tests are essential. You just want to make sure you are balancing the benefits with the risks through an informed conversation with your doctor.