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Author Topic: Worried about the amount of xrays and ct scans I have had... kinda worried!  (Read 8005 times)

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Offline tanya boston

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Okay you all know that I am going through a pretty touch time right now... I have a couple different things going on and all of them having me thinking that I have cancer some where in my body but I am determined to get past this and do whatever I can to get past through this health anxiety one way or the other.. Still something is bothering me right now, so here goes...

Well I am going to be honest, since I have been 22 years old my anxiety kicked into over drive and has me running ever since and I am now 29 bout to be the big 30! It started with palpation's. I was so freaked out and just would not could not accept the fact that I was not going to die from them sooo I spent a lot of time in my cardios office and the ER. I would sometimes go to 2 different ER's in one day. I would go in, leave from that one not satisfied and went to another. Well now every time you go complaining about your heart they do a chest xray. I did this for a long time... I have had many many xrays. Ones for my heart mostly but there have been others for normal things, like I got hurt or I was sick or whatever.. Still I have had a lot.. I eventually accepted that my heart did what it did and I was okay and I moved on from that but not soon after it started tuning into other things, like blood clots and strokes and brain anyrsums (sp) and brain tumors and so on and on and on... This led to a lot of cat scans... I have had a lot of cat scans. Not as many as I have had x rays but I have had a decent amount, I dont really know the number. Some of them I needed but most of them were not needed and was more my health anxiety pushing me for more and more testing.. When I was 28 I kept getting chest pains and pains in my arm, my cardio worked me up and all was normal but the pains continued and given my risk and my arrythmia's and high blood pressure and my father dying at 50 from heart problems my cardio ordered me to have a cath done... I know thats a big exposure but I didnt know that then, in the end it turned out to be my gallbladder and after I had it removed I was in so much pain that I had 2 more cat scans done a week after it was taken out just says apart. In fact I didnt really know about how bout xrays and ct scans are for you...

I have vowed to myself that I will not have any more xrays or ct scans if they are not really needed. I will seek out other ways if I have a problem to get to the bottom of things. Let me tell you how scared I am that I will get cancer because of all these scans and x rays... I am terrified.. I am having all kinds of things going on, sharp pains in m bones, some strange things going on with my back, elevated white count with no infection, splinter hemmorages, what they think is a tumor in my partiod gland (waiting for results of yep you guessed it the ct scan)... I feel like my body is falling apart and here I am thinking that I have cancer from all these scans...

Have any of you had many ct scans and xrays because of your health anxiety or am I alone in this???
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Offline Allochka

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Re: Worried about the amount of xrays and ct scans I have had... kinda worried!
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 02:32:48 AM »
Dear Tanya,

I really think that you should not be so stressed about the amount of CT scans and x-rays. They are not THAT harmful. If they were THAT harmful - they would be prohibited...
Of course it isnot reasonable to have them every month, but several scans during your life won't cause you cancer!

Let us know the results of your latest CT scan, we are with you! 
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Offline smmaho

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Re: Worried about the amount of xrays and ct scans I have had... kinda worried!
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 04:18:03 AM »
Hey there. I have never had a CT scan done but i've probably had about 10 xrays done within a two year period. And I have had two nucleur scans done where they inject stuff into your body so they can see stuff.

A few months ago I was very worried and upset about the amount of tests I have had over a short period of time. Talking to people on here helped to put my mind at ease.

Try not to worry, what's done is done but just try your hardest to not get anymore tests done that aren't really needed. I know that's easier said then done though.

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Offline AnxiousNurse

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Re: Worried about the amount of xrays and ct scans I have had... kinda worried!
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 08:26:40 AM »
hi there.. I just wanted to add something.  Not to freak you out but so you are aware.

Having a CT scan is equivalent to anywhere from 50-1000 xrays (depending on where you are getting it done)..  It is a significant form of radiation.  They are not prohibited because they are useful diagnostic tests and when death is the other option (for ruling out strokes, for example) then yes, of course, they will give you your 10th head CT in the face of something deadly.  They will not prohibit that.

Also, CT's are more likely to be done more frequently in the elderly since the effects of CT's are sometimes not seen for 20+ years.

A responsible doctor should be discussing these risks with you if you have had 1 CT in the past year.  It is not an unfounded fear and is documented in medial literature.  They have some sort of radiation "dosing" guide to help them make clinical decisions if a CT is required or not.  For example, I went to emerg in Mar 2011 with what appeared to be a partial seizure and the doc would NOT let me have another head CT since I'd just had one in Sept 2010.  He booked an MRI instead.

So my point is, there are real risks.  Do some research if it'll make you feel better.  But in the end, what's been done can't be undone and for the vast majority of people it is fine.  Especially if they were medically necessary.  But please try to be honest with docs and let them know who much radiation you've had (xrays, ct's etc) so they can be smart about their choices.  And, the effects of this stuff, like I said, don't always become apparent for many many years.

In the meantime, have your doctor monitor your blood (CBC) and watch out for swollen nodes, esp. in the areas you've had scanned.

I, too, have had lots of radiation exposure this year.  I also worry.  You are SO not alone.

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Offline jrandall

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I've had 2 abdom/pelvic ct, 2 chest ct and 2 heart scans.  Plus several xrays.  I am terrified of the long term effects.  I never know of the amount of radiation in a CT.  The doctors were ER docs and never discussed the risks.  I am disgusted because I really didn't need 2 of them, my anxiety got the better of me.

I do not know what to think!
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