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What Do My Scan Reports Indicate?

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Posted on Fri, 3 Nov 2017
Question: I have a question: I got 2 ct scans. 1 of my abdomen for kidney stones and one for my head. Should I be worried about my increased cancer risk? Did my cancer risk increase? If so, how much? I


Also, if it did:


What can I do to repair my dna to the damage done by the radiation? I heard your body heals low levels of radiation. What is considered low levels? What are the average levels used for head and kidney stones?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (44 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Cancer risk not significantly increased

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for your query. I understand your concerns.

In general, risk of cancer from diagnostic scans is much lower as compared to radiation therapy. So overall, I don't think you have increased the risk of cancer and hence there is no method to lower it further.

Now coming to the dose received. As per standard methods, the estimated radiation dose from head CT is 2 mSv and that from whole abdomen CT is 10 mSv. The natural radiation dose received per year is around 3 mSv. So it is definitely more than that but not alarming. These levels are likely to be healed by the body.

Overall, there is nothing to worry much now but doctors usually try to limit further CT scans unless really necessary.

Hope this helps.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh (4 minutes later)
I ask due to leukemia risk. I am 29 years old and smoked half a pack a day from 19-25. add that to the radiation I got in my own head and thought I was in trouble. another doctor also told me not to worry about the smoking because if I stopped now (which I did) then my body will heal most of the damage to that of an non smoker over time.

So I should have to worry about the radiation from ct scans or getting leukemia?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (51 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes much of the smoking damage can be healed

Detailed Answer:
since you had stopped smoking quite a few years back, I don't think this radiation has got any synergistic action with it. So I really don't think risk of cancer or leukemia has increased significantly.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh (2 minutes later)
What is synergistic action
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
When two factors work together

Detailed Answer:
So that the net effect is much more than expected. If the factors work separately then effect is much lower.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh (10 minutes later)
one more question: do they mean more high dosages of radiation or radiation therapy as culprits for cancer and leukemia then and not low doses like ct scans since the body can heal that? I read that even doses of 100 smv the body can heal. is that true?

so you're saying no increase cancer risk really with the ct scan and that I stopped smoking?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Yes high doses are the culprits

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back,

Lower doses can be taken care of by the body. And now that you have stopped smoking and these two CT scans have not added significant radiation, cancer risk is like a normal individual.

Regards


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Indranil Ghosh

Oncologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1703 Questions

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What Do My Scan Reports Indicate?

Brief Answer: Cancer risk not significantly increased Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your query. I understand your concerns. In general, risk of cancer from diagnostic scans is much lower as compared to radiation therapy. So overall, I don't think you have increased the risk of cancer and hence there is no method to lower it further. Now coming to the dose received. As per standard methods, the estimated radiation dose from head CT is 2 mSv and that from whole abdomen CT is 10 mSv. The natural radiation dose received per year is around 3 mSv. So it is definitely more than that but not alarming. These levels are likely to be healed by the body. Overall, there is nothing to worry much now but doctors usually try to limit further CT scans unless really necessary. Hope this helps. Regards