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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 42843
Experience:  Experienced Oncology Physician trained in New York City. I'm ready to help.
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Last July I recieved a ct scan of the brain, a barrium

Customer Question

Hello, last July I recieved a ct scan of the brain, a barrium swallow, and a ct scan of the abdomen and pelvis along with multiple dental and chest xrays. Altogether I recieved about 16 msv of radiation within about 3 months. What is my cancer risk from the radiation???
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and I'm ready to help.

the chances of cancer are super super super small from 16 mSv in 3 months

we are all exposed to radiation living on this earth, about 3-5 mSv per year on this earth

so you have been exposed to 48-80 mSv already in your lifetime, possibly more if you fly on airplanes or live at higher altitude levels

you don't have to stress about your prior radiation exposure

your body has normal DNA repair mechanisms which repair DNA mutations caused by radiation

not smoking and eating healthy and exercising regularly and getting enough sleep all help the body heal and prevent cancer

make sure you are doing all of those things

let me know if you have questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I do smoke, but will the radiation cause cancer then?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
no.

smoking causes cancer.

you need to quit smoking if you are worried about cancer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I smoke half a pack a day and I have been smoking for 12 years, what is my risk of lung cancer? I am 27 and started at 15.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3405232/table/tbl1/

you have a 3.7 times more risk for lung cancer than a 30 year old who does not smoke.

if you continue to smoke, that rate goes up to close to 30 times more risks for lung cancer than a non smoke by age 40

you have a much risks for future cancers from smoking than from your prior radiation exposure from your prior scans.

talk to your doctor about how you can quit smoking.

there are nicotine patches and gums to help you quit

also chantix and wellbutrin can help you quit

many states have 1800 hot lines to help you quit

many hospitals have quit smoking classes and sport groups which can help

let me know if you have other questions.

if done for now, please leave positive rating below the chat box so I can get credit for helping you today

we only get credit for helping clients after positive feedback

you can always reach me with "a question for Dr. David" if you have any other questions

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http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-dr-david/

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, so lets say I quit smoking today, I have a 6 or 7 pack year history, what are my chances of developing lung cancer in the future, and when people get lung cancer from smoking, how old are they statistically???
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
if you quit smoking now, in 10 years, you will have about the same risk of lung cancer as a non smoker.

usually patients who get lung cancer are in their 60s and 70s after they have smoked for many many years

but in rare cases, they can get lung cancer when they are younger than 50

smoking also causes other cancers like throat cancers and bladder cancers a well.

so it is not just lung cancer.

smoking is all around bad for you

and you need to quit if you are worried about cancer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I am going to quit, what do you know about electronic cigarettes or the vapor pens??
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
these e cigs give you nicotine in water vapor.

they can be just as addictive than cigarettes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I just have one more question, lately I have been coughing up a lot of phlegm and in the morning it's like a brown color and then as the day goes on its white. I'm scared this could be lung cancer. What do you think of this and should I get checked for lung cancer. I got a xray 2 months ago and the xray was fine just scared that its lung cancer.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
no, you don't have lung cancer.

your brown phlegm is your body trying to clear out smoke and tar and smoking residue form your lungs.

I hope you have quit smoking
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I went to the hospital because I was coughing up blood and so they gave me a chest cat scan so now I have had a chest cat scan, barrium swallow, head ct scan and a cat scan of my abdomen and pelvis. Now I am really worried about getting cancer from all this radiation in the past year. What do you think the amount of radiation in msv is that I recieved altogether?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/?pg=sfty_xray

is a good website

chest CT scan low dose is 1.5mSv
barium swallow 0.85mSv http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15326042
head CT 2mSv
ab pelvic CT 10 mSv
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I be worried of cancer from this though??
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
no, you shouldn't be worried about cancer from this radiation exposure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How many ct scans do cause cancer?? And how much of a risk do I have??
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
there is no fixed number of scans which will cause cancer.

your risks are still super super super super super super low from your scans.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are there people my age that have way more?? And it this was to cause me cancer what types would be from radiation?? Also how many years does it take cancer to develop from radiation?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
yes, there are people your age who have gotten more scans

there is no way to know what type of cancer you would get.

it takes 10-40 years for cancer from radiation to manifest
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it pretty rare or common for people to get cancer from ct scans, I'm sorry I'm just scared of getting cancer from them considering that is a lot of radiation in a year :-/
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
yes it is very very very very rare for people to get cancer from CT scans.

it is not a lot of radiation in a year

your body can handle it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You are a oncologist right?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
yes, I am a practicing oncologist.

I order CT scans all the time for my patients.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I shouldn't worry about cancer from these scans then????? I'm still scared that I will get cancer from them.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
no, you shouldn't worry about cancer from those scans.

you need to talk to your doctor about getting treatment for your anxiety symptoms.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have anxiety?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
yes, you are displaying excessive anxiety symptoms.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just don't want to die from cancer
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
you won't die from cancer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I should say I don't want to get cancer
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
you won't die from cancer.

you need to talk to a doctor or psychotherapist about your fears about this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But you honestly don't think i will get cancer caused from this radiation exposure???
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
I have told you that you will not get cancer from radiation exposure.

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