Scary info regarding CT scans

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pb4
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   Posted 12/14/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Just heard on my local news tonight that there is a huge increased risk of cancer for those that get CT scans especially for the abdominal and pelvic area....The local news has not yet updated their website regarding this story but I'm sure it can be found on the web somewhere for those that are interested.


:)

firecracker1
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   Posted 12/14/2009 8:50 PM (GMT -7)   
great! I have had four Ct scans this year. I always have
at least 1 a year.

Rider Fan
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   Posted 12/14/2009 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never had one, my GI had me get an MRI last time to avoid the radiation. But if you need a CT then you need one, not much you can do about it...
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!


Becky77
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   Posted 12/14/2009 9:06 PM (GMT -7)   
It's all about benefit vs risk. If you're in tons of pain and the dr needs to figure out what's going on, it's more beneficial to have one than not. You shouldn't not have a test that will help treat you in fear of the risks it has. Surgery has the risk of death...do people decide to pass on surgery because of it? Not so much. Being put to sleep for colonoscopies carries risks also, but we do them too.

Some hospitals are doing more MRI's now because of the radiation in CT's. My dr starts with a SBFT since it's far less radiation than a CT. Also, if it won't change the treatment I'm on she doesn't order tests, and just treats me based on symptoms.

I will say though, that the news happens to "forget" to say the benefits of having a CT done. They also don't mention quantities and time periods that this increased risk happens in. All they do is freak everyone out who has illnesses requiring tests. Like when Christopher Reeve's wife got lung cancer and they did all kinds of stories about it, people flocked to their doctor's offices to have chest xrays done. I'm sure over 90% of them were normal, and these people were just scared from the news. They need to mention that if your doctor feels it's necessary for your treatment, it outweighs the risk it has. They also need to put things into context...what studies they were looking at, how many and in what time period they found these things.

Before I get off my soapbox, I'll just say one more thing. I worked in xray for 7 years. I can't tell you how many times parents asked me about the risk of xrays. I'd just ask in return if they wanted their doctor to know if their child had a broken bone....and if their doctor felt it was warranted, they shouldn't worry about the radiation. You shouldn't go have every little pain investigated with xrays or CTs, but if treatment is going to be done depending on how tests look, it's necessary.

We all have to be advocates for ourselves, and I do think it's important to make sure you aren't over-imaged, but to some extent, imaging is necessary for our treatment.
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12, Coumadin


pb4
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   Posted 12/14/2009 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's one link I found based on the recent info from todays news...


http://www.prweb.com/releases/Radiation/CT_Procedures/prweb3329754.htm



The risks are extreamly high (they've just learned) specifically for those getting abdomen and pelvis CT scans.



If the link doesn't work, copy and paste into your search engine.



:)

pimfram
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   Posted 12/14/2009 9:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I saw that, too. I think I've had 5 or 6 in the last 2 years. Here's a video link.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/34422366#34422366
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.

Amor fati - Nietzsche


Becky77
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   Posted 12/14/2009 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Like I said above, they don't mention any numbers as to how many CT's puts you at more of a risk. I had 2 CT angios done between October and now, but had they not been done, blood clots could have killed me. I wouldn't have not had the CTs done for fear of developing cancer in the future. It's all relative.

I'm not trying to fight or disagree with you, but before they start scaring the general public, they need to add numbers. They need to tell if having 1 CT of your abdomen and pelvis each year if your condition warrants it is ok (I don't know if that's true, but they need to put it in terms patients understand, not just generalize that CT's cause cancer) They didn't say in the article over what time period and how many CT's the patients they looked at had.

It looks to me like what they are talking about more is that extra sequences are being done that don't affect the patient outcome, and that's more the issue. Also, the dose from machine to machine is different, and that needs to be fixed. I don't think this study was designed to scare the public, but to make the industry safer by keeping the equipment standardized and regulated, and used for it's intended purpose.
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12, Coumadin


Dagger
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   Posted 12/14/2009 10:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes an MRI is as good or better, plus no radiation, but insurance won't allow it. In these cases, it's due to money. A CT is cheaper than an MRI so you end up with radiation exposure because it's cheaper for the insurance company. Plus radiation induced cancer takes years to develop so you may be another insurance company's problem by then.

My problem with the benefit vs. risk idea is that the benefit is with the insurance company and the risk is all yours. I'm all for having a CT scan when it is the best viewing method for your condition but not just because it's cheaper than an MRI.

pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 12/14/2009 11:37 PM (GMT -7)   
On the news what they said was the irony of CT scans being used to look for cancer was the very thing that was causing/contributing to it...they said for all the specific areas they use it for, head, chest, abdomen/pelvis area and whole body scans, that the abdomen/pelvis areas are done on more patients than any of the other areas they are done on so that put the risk of 14,000 people getting that specific area done, at risk for cancer compared to head (which I think was around 4000 people at risk) in a yr.

:)

pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 12/14/2009 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
You're correct bar, I don't recall them giving exact numbers on how many, but they did mention the less you had the better...this news is probably geared more towards warning the general public that get them done too much in a yr or even over a few yrs...hopefully they'll report more precise and clear numbers and stats in the comming days.

:)

Becky77
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Date Joined Dec 2005
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   Posted 12/15/2009 5:36 PM (GMT -7)   
It would be so great if they did come out with numbers. That way those of us who have to have tests done know whether or not we're at risk. But...what if they said more than one a year put you in danger. Would you be able to say in times of intense pain in the ER that you didn't want a CT to know why you were hurting so bad? It's a double edged sword. That's what conflicts me. I don't want to put myself at risk for anything else (we CD patients have enough to worry about) but at the same time, my doctor needs to know what's going on in order to properly treat me.

Dagger-MRI does use radiation, by the way, it's just non ionizing radiation, which hasn't as of now been shown to cause any long term effects. It's a common misconception that MRI uses no radiation, but in reality, it's just not the same radiation as CT and xray. Also, risk vs benefit isn't an idea, it's what is taught in medicine. If you don't like the risk of a test, you can always refuse it. That's the beauty of medicine...it's your body, your decision. Never in medicine can your doctor make a decision without you agreeing. Never do you HAVE to do something. You are allowed to question why to your doctors, and you're allowed to ask if there's any other options. You're allowed to back out if you aren't comfortable with something. It used to be that patients did whatever their doctors said, but that's not how things are now.

We all have to be educated patients. That's what's great about HW. We can all learn from each other and take the information we gain to our doctors, and protect ourselves from unneeded tests.
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12, Coumadin


pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 12/15/2009 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's another link which discusses it further, giving some numbers based on type of scans done...unfortunately it doesn't specify (that I noticed) how many in a yr increases the risk...it does confimr the nubers I gave in my previous reply...4000 for head and 14,000 for abdomen/pelvis.


it's a 3 page article, here's the link...



Read article...





:)

Escalador
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 12/15/2009 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
its not a "how many a year" thing ... radiation in your body is cumulative ... so, as someone mentioned... avoid if you can

Rider Fan
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Date Joined May 2008
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   Posted 12/15/2009 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Dagger said...
Sometimes an MRI is as good or better, plus no radiation, but insurance won't allow it. In these cases, it's due to money. A CT is cheaper than an MRI so you end up with radiation exposure because it's cheaper for the insurance company. Plus radiation induced cancer takes years to develop so you may be another insurance company's problem by then.

My problem with the benefit vs. risk idea is that the benefit is with the insurance company and the risk is all yours. I'm all for having a CT scan when it is the best viewing method for your condition but not just because it's cheaper than an MRI.


You're probably correct, an insurance company would probably never allow a GI to order an MRI for me, but luckily in Canada GI's don't take orders from corporations! :)
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!


Becky77
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 12/15/2009 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I realize that radiation is cumulative, I was using that as an example. It would be nice to know for example, that x # of CT's in a lifetime doubled your risk of cancer, but they don't say anything in any of the studies what number causes what risk. That's what bothers me about all of these studies. Even knowing that, what would we do when a doctor felt we needed a CT?

The downfall for MRI is that it does take much longer to do an abdominal scan than a CT. If in the ER I don't know that I would be able to hold still for 30 minutes (at the least) for an MRI. Also, most MRI departments don't work 24/7 like CT departments do, so patients would have to wait until someone was called in to do their study. Since MRI units cost so much more money than CT to run because of the chemicals needed to cool the machine, I don't know that hospitals will soon be staffing MRI 24/7. It benefits them more to run them during the day and turn them off at night.

In reality, imaging is like everything in medicine. In 10 years if someone were to tell us all that taking "X" medicine put us at a greater risk of cancer, what would we do? It's scary being at the beginning of these realizations. They've known for quite some time that radiation can cause problems later in life. Nothing in medicine comes without risk. It leads me to wonder what they'll find later on after we've all undergone it (whatever "it" may be). I also wonder what combinations of things increase our risks of other diseases later in life. I've recently learned that having crohn's puts you at greater risk for clots...did my GYN ever mention that to me when prescribing birth control pills...NO. Would I have taken them had I known, probably not. I would guess that there's a lot that a lot of us don't know.

All of that being said, I think that we have to live in today. If all of us worried about all the things that could happen to us, we would worry ourselves sick. There are tons of things that COULD happen every day, and life isn't worth living if all we do is worry about what's going to happen next, is it? If we all worried about everything, we might as well hole up in our homes and never go out.
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12, Coumadin


pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 12/15/2009 11:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I totally see your point bar, at the same time though with them just finding out this info on CT scans it seems pretty alarming especially when you read the numbers 14,000 for those getting ab/pelvis area done. That's why I titled my post "scary" cuz who know what more they'll find out (what numbers they'll determine). Life itself is a risk, some have no choice but to take big risks but at least if you find out the possible consequences of those risks you're not in for any big surprises...at least that's one way of looking at it I guess. Bottom line, you gotta do what you gotta do and that's really all there is to it.

:)

jeanneac
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Date Joined Feb 2009
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   Posted 12/16/2009 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
It is scary. We are caught between a rock and a hard place with the ct scans. I need to get one on Monday and it is the 3rd one in 4 years. I guess it could be worse. Others, have had more.
diagnosed 1/09 with "diverticular colitis" ?? location: sigmoid colon
localized scleroderma & IBS, low thyroid,claritin, advair, singulair, lisinopril, progesterone, colazal, fish oil, synthroid, zoloft, wellbutrin, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel
 


Jen77
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Date Joined Mar 2006
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   Posted 12/17/2009 1:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't get them very often thankfully, it's been a few years from my last. But that is scary information. We are caught in the middle of it because it's a test we need. Hopefully with this information they can see what they can do to make it safer, and cut down on unnecessary testing (some doctors I do believe go over board with the tests).
~Jennifer
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Celexa.


FitzyK23
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   Posted 12/19/2009 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
The information can help you be more involved in your medical plan. I have been in the ER just for an IV, knowing I was having a basic flare, and they wanted me to do a CT. I said no thanks and that I would wait a day. If I was still that bad then yes. I got way better from the meds and IV's and didn't need the scan. We need to listen to our bodies and not just the docs.
27 Year old married female lawyer.  Diagnosed w/ CD 5 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For Crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


onedaymore
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Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 12/19/2009 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
This article from the FDA gives more specific numbers:
www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/MedicalImaging/MedicalX-Rays/ucm115329.htm
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2008 at the age of 22.
Currently taking: Azathioprine, Pentasa, Zofran, Tramadol, Welchol, Promethazine, Ambien, Metoclopramide, Omeprazole, Hyoscyamine


MAG102886
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Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 12/20/2009 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   

I've had probably 3 total.  When I go to the ER they REFUSE to do a CT scan for this very reason...unless my GI approves it. My GI is also very hesitant about me having CT scans.

Everytime I've had one they always comment about how I'm such a young girl having it done, and having them done sooo often could really mess up my reproductive organs and my ability to have a baby.


Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:3 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings, Fistula Repair
Current Meds: Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
Next Surgery: None.
 

Sniper
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   Posted 12/20/2009 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Geeee, Ive had so many of them and X rays plus MRIs that I glow in the dark and point north ..
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.


Escalador
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   Posted 12/31/2009 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
*activated your link*

Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 12/31/2009 1:16:36 PM (GMT-7)

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