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Thread: CAT Scans = Much more radiation exposure

  1. #1 CAT Scans = Much more radiation exposure 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Apparently, a CAT Scan (where you lie on a stretcher which slides in an Xray circle) exposes the person to much, much more radiation.

    Depending on what's being scaned it can be the equivalent of having from 40 to 375 chest X-rays.

    Also, if you get multiple Scans (once a year) you chances of getting cancer (or other radiation related illness) increases noticably.


    I realize these Scans are usually performed for good reasons (the immediate benefits outweigh the potential risks), but for anyone thinking of getting scanned when its not needed I suggest getting all the info first.

    The documentary suggested a system whereby patients would log and record radiation exposure they have.


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  3. #2 Re: CAT Scans = Much more radiation exposure 
    Forum Senior Imaplanck.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo

    Depending on what's being scaned it can be the equivalent of having from 40 to 375 chest X-rays.

    .
    Yes tomography requires multiple exposures.

    40 to 375 times of what quantity of rem though? 375 times 0.1^25 LD(for example) is still insignificant. What research has been done to suggest this level of exposure will have any significance at all? I see no rationality in this disclosure.


    "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death." Albert Einstein
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  4. #3  
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    It's funny you should say this. I at one point had around (more probably) than a dozen for a condition I had within around 6 months!

    I was interested in the amount of radiation I had been exposed to but when you look into modern research on the effects of radiation it seems to be more apparent that radiation is not as harmful as is generally thought. There is not that much evidence that relatively small doses are actually harmful. Of course if you're talking chernobyl, it's different, but I personnally am not too concerned for myself anyway!
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    There is a suggestion by some researchers that the absence of radiation can be harmful. This is, apparently, based upon the notion that we have evolved for three billion years plus in an environment in which there is a certain level of natural background radiation.
    One minor difficulty is that radiation is an emotive word. This emotion can carry over from Joe Public to certain researchers who enter the field with an agenda. I read reports relating to radiation exposure with a higher degree of skepticism.
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  6. #5  
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    Out of interest ( I see you live in Scortland) did you catch horizon on bbc the other week which was about radiation's effects on humans?

    I know it might be only for public interest but it was still an interesting watch.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Junior Powerdoc's Avatar
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    I will not stay in a scannograph for days and nights.
    That's said, one or two scannographs per year won't kill anybody : you recieve more radiations naturally.

    I agree, that making radiological exams for whatever reasons, is not good. In practice it's not a problem.
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  8. #7  
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    And what about airline pilots and cabin crew who are exposed to the radiation in the upper atmosphere. they experience the equivalent of a couple of hundred chest x-rays in a year; year on year and there is no evidence that they have higher levels of cancer.

    Also there is a place in iran where the world's highest background radiation level is (can't remember the name). The people there actually have a lower rate of cancer than most of the world.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    And what about airline pilots and cabin crew who are exposed to the radiation in the upper atmosphere. they experience the equivalent of a couple of hundred chest x-rays in a year; year on year and there is no evidence that they have higher levels of cancer.

    Also there is a place in iran where the world's highest background radiation level is (can't remember the name). The people there actually have a lower rate of cancer than most of the world.
    yes, the problem when dealing of radiation, is that it because all emotional. We don't also know what is the precise limit between harmless and harmful. This limit may differ from one being to an another (in the same specie)
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  10. #9  
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    Yes CT scans are very useful in their operation because

    - CT scans allow the radiologist to see detailed views of the lungs & the pleura
    - CT scans help determine the location, extent & size of tumor masses residing in the lungs more accurately than x-rays
    - CT scans can reveal thickening of the pleura by examining the absorption rates of varying thickness levels of tissues
    - CT scans can also indicate lung cancer beyond the pleura within the chest wall or lymph nodes
    - CT scans can help evaluate the conditions of the lungs
    Source: http://www.themesotheliomalibrary.com

    Although specialists suggest not taking CT scans more than once a year as you can get exposed to high levels of radiation...
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  11. #10  
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    I had a cat scan last year to diagnose a kidney stone. At the time, nobody told me I was getting a radiation dose, let alone how much. Later on, I looked up on the internet and found that it was probably around 1 rem.

    Had I picked up 1 rem in the course of my job, it would not exceed my allowable annual occupational exposure, but it would have been a big, big deal. NRC regulations are based on the (unproven but conservative) assumption that every quantum of ionizing radiation has equal probability of initiating a cancerous mutation. Thus the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle which requires us to scrutinize each millirem of occupational exposure.

    No such principle exists for medical dose, except for the technician, who is a rad worker. She leaves the room when the scanner is turned on.
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