Safety of repeated imaging and scans? Pandora’s box is open

Posted by azkidney57 @azkidney57, Sun, Oct 13 11:10am

I will be scanned this month. I will have a chest CT and MRI of abdomen and pelvis with and without contrast. Many of us have routine scans and I would like to know how safe these scans are. The scans are necessary but how safe is repeated scanning to the body? Is there anything that could help counter the effects of “imaging and scans” in terms of nutrition or herbal/ vitamin supplements? I am new to cancer. I had a nephrectomy in May 2019 for renal cell carcinoma. I asked my oncologist how safe scans are and he told me to scans his patients every 4 months. My question regarding safety wasn’t answered. Other oncologists suggest 3 months while I had 1 oncologist tell me every 6 months is acceptable. It all depends on where the cancer is or was. What the cancer is and how aggressive. Probabilities and percentages are thrown around but of course no one knows with any certainty when, where or if cancer will strike. An educated guess is better than nothing. I have a friend who takes Vitamin C in high doses to help his immune system after his lymphoma. I have never taken vitamins or supplements in the past prior to cancer. I have never paid explicit attention to nutrition in the past but now that seems prudent. Also the “scanxiety” is there. The emotional aspect of imaging is real and must be dealt with. I am trying to be proactive. I have decided to use meditation and or mantras to help with scanxiety. “Hope” should be released from Pandora’s box. Let’s not forget!

Hi @azkidney57 here is an article from Mayo Clinic that I thought may be helpful as it details the safety of CT Scans: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ct-scan/expert-answers/ct-scans/faq-20057860

Have your doctors given you any guidance with nutrition?

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@azkidney57
I, too, have gotten lots of MRIs and CT scans. I repeat a mantra during the MRIs because the claustrophobia really gets to me. I haven’t worried too much about the long,long term effects of scans because, as long as they show something positive, I’ll keep having them. I could tell the doctor ‘no,’ but then what? But, I do know how you feel! Everything is so different in my life today and there is so much to worry about. Guess I’ll just keep on keeping on!

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As a 13 year IIIB breast cancer survivor, my oncologist still orders an MRI annually, in addition to my mammogram. My cancer was very aggressive and fast growing, and I have a mutation at PTEN which is a tumor suppressant gene. Although I joke sometimes about becoming fluorescent from all the radiation I’ve been exposed to since June of 2006, I really don’t worry about that. I absolutely trust my oncologist, and figure that it’s his day job to be watchful.
MRIs aren’t my favorite thing to do, but I have them play really loud march music, and it gets me through. Sometimes country or Broadway have been on my play list, but as an old (really old) marching band participant, I’ve found that march music works best right now. The rhythm and memories of playing many of the selections make the time pass a little faster 👍

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MRIs don't bother me (maybe I'm ignorant of magnetic problems), but all those xrays (after s series of 44 to treat prostate cancer) have me worried.Most doctors I see for anything say take xrays or leave. Are they just protecting themselves from potential lawsuits?

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@crystalgal

As a 13 year IIIB breast cancer survivor, my oncologist still orders an MRI annually, in addition to my mammogram. My cancer was very aggressive and fast growing, and I have a mutation at PTEN which is a tumor suppressant gene. Although I joke sometimes about becoming fluorescent from all the radiation I’ve been exposed to since June of 2006, I really don’t worry about that. I absolutely trust my oncologist, and figure that it’s his day job to be watchful.
MRIs aren’t my favorite thing to do, but I have them play really loud march music, and it gets me through. Sometimes country or Broadway have been on my play list, but as an old (really old) marching band participant, I’ve found that march music works best right now. The rhythm and memories of playing many of the selections make the time pass a little faster 👍

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@crystalgal Music during an MRI sounds great! I’m getting one on Wednesday so I’ll have to ask about playing music! Thanks for the idea

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Hi,
I have the same concerns. After all, it is radiation! I have to have CT scans with contrast every 3 months, for the rest of my life. Stage 3A adenocarcinoma of the lung and subsequent pneumonectomy.

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