Posted 8/24/2013 9:37 PM (GMT -6)
The problem, Barb, is this radiation lifetime limit business is somewhat subjective. I had had doctors that are really concerned about it, and other doctors act like there's no such thing. For starters, everyone is exposed to natural radiation from space. It depends where you live in the world, and how much time you spend exposed to the outdoors, and you have to factor in how sensitive a person is in general.
Then you have to consider how many radiation based tests you have had in your life. That would even include dental x-rays (in the old days, much heavier doses of radiation were used in dental work than is done now), how many CT scans (and I know from your experience, you have had an unusual amount of them with all your many ailments.
Then you have to factor in if you have been through major radiation events. As you know, I went through 2 of them in a 9 year period. The first time, year 2000, was 35 treatments totallying 70 gys of radiation, done old school style. Not the modern guided radiation that is done now. It was neck and throat radiation, which is generally considered pretty rough on the body. Then in 2009, I have the salvage radiation for the failed prostate surgery, it was 39 sessions totallying 72 gys of radiation, while it was done with a modern guided method (IMRT), because it hit an empty instead of a full bladder, my body got hit hard by the radiation.
My own oncologist has discussed several times with me, that he feels I am beyond a safe limit, and he only wants me to have radiation based scans on a very limited basis. As my cancer progresses, I will need additional PET and other bone scans to make sure mets aren't starting to show up. I was told to avoid any routine x-rays unless it was an emergency.
My best answer to you, is to simply ask your radiation doctor, that you are concerned about it in general, and ask him outright, does he feel its safe for you keep undergoing various spot radiation and tons of CT scans.
You have so many serious ailments, the doctor may feel that the radiation risk is the least of your troubles, and that is more important to have radiation then not. I could be wrong, but that is my gut feeling.
Certainly won't hurt to ask.
Age: 60, 56 at PC dx, PSA 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/8 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, 4+3
Open RP: 11/8, Catheter in 63 days
Path Rpt: 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% tumor, 1 pos margin
Incontinence & ED: None
Surgery Failed, recurrence within 9 months
Salvage Radiation 10/9-11/9, SRT failed within 9 months, PSA: Too High
Spent total of 1 ½ years on 21 catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10,
7 other PC-related surgeries 2009-2012