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guiding_light
Each time you go for a checkup (medical or dental) there is a chance you get an X-ray. Or if you visit for a problem which is not obvious, they will give you a rather comprehensive X-ray set (3-5 shots in one sitting). Occasionally, no one gives a thought. But what if, as you get older, every year, when you go to the doctor or dentist, the problems are just so hard to diagnose that X-ray workups become the routine answer, and as you go more often, the accumulated X-ray exposure is simply not something to ignore? More of my radiation exposure paranoia, it is grounded more and more in reality...
flyingbuttressman
QUOTE (guiding_light+Nov 9 2009, 10:51 AM)
Each time you go for a checkup (medical or dental) there is a chance you get an X-ray. Or if you visit for a problem which is not obvious, they will give you a rather comprehensive X-ray set (3-5 shots in one sitting). Occasionally, no one gives a thought. But what if, as you get older, every year, when you go to the doctor or dentist, the problems are just so hard to diagnose that X-ray workups become the routine answer, and as you go more often, the accumulated X-ray exposure is simply not something to ignore? More of my radiation exposure paranoia, it is grounded more and more in reality...

So, next time I break a leg, it's better for the doctor to not know the extent of the damage than risk x-ray exposure...
buttershug
QUOTE (flyingbuttressman+Nov 9 2009, 03:04 PM)
So, next time I break a leg, it's better for the doctor to not know the extent of the damage than risk x-ray exposure...

my right leg goes backwards a little because an x-ray wasn't taken.
Late my dad went to the same doctor when he was having trouble breathing. The doctor wanted to just prescribe some pills but dad insisted on getting xrays done. Sure enough he had a collapsed lung.

And guiding light don't move to Denver, or fly long distance. Both those can give you more radiation exposure.
guiding_light
QUOTE (flyingbuttressman+Nov 9 2009, 03:04 PM)
So, next time I break a leg, it's better for the doctor to not know the extent of the damage than risk x-ray exposure...

I didn't say that. I said they didn't know the problem yet, or were checking up. The preferable way is to find out without X-rays.
guiding_light
QUOTE (buttershug+Nov 9 2009, 03:11 PM)

And guiding light don't move to Denver, or fly long distance. Both those can give you more radiation exposure.

I agree with the long-distance flight (anyone would). I didn't know Denver was a radiation threat.

Instead of a tenth X-ray for checkup, MRI can be used, although obviously not as conveniently.

X-rays left scars on my mother's brain.
flyingbuttressman
QUOTE (guiding_light+Nov 9 2009, 11:21 AM)
The preferable way is to find out without X-rays.

Why? How?
X-Rays are the safest, cheapest way to diagnose a great number of issues.
guiding_light
QUOTE (flyingbuttressman+Nov 9 2009, 03:43 PM)
Why? How?
X-Rays are the safest, cheapest way to diagnose a great number of issues.

http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/h...300104xray.html

Maybe it is just one alarming assessment, but it is indeed a good standard procedure to consult patient's radiological history prior to an X-ray. At the very least, if it is your tenth one for your head or chest region, remind the doctor or nurse. They will pick the next best alternative, probably an MRI.
flyingbuttressman
QUOTE (guiding_light+Nov 9 2009, 11:56 AM)
http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/h...300104xray.html

Maybe it is just one alarming assessment, but it is indeed a good standard procedure to consult patient's radiological history prior to an X-ray. At the very least, if it is your tenth one for your head or chest region, remind the doctor or nurse. They will pick the next best alternative, probably an MRI.

You're not questioning an existing practice. Doctors are already SUPPOSED to do that. You're doing nothing but fear-mongering about X-Rays. There are enough stupid people out there that think that cell phones and microwaves will give them cancer without them being afraid of X-rays.
H2O
I find it funny how you put on a lead vest while an xray machine is pressed up against your face at the dentist. Mean while the person taking it stand behind a wall.

But I also know that the vest is just added protection for your vital organs and the dentist is behind the wall because while you are getting one shot of xrays, they would take multiple shots per day if they didn't stand behind the wall.

I'm not too sure but I think the time frame is off. I think "how much per day?" or at most "how much per week?" would've been better because I'm fairly sure that radiation isn't accumulative. That is it doesn't remain in your system for the rest of your life and once you reach a limit you can't work around it anymore. I'm fairly sure that it's daily and that once you reach a daily limit of exposure you must wait till the next day (basically 24 hours).
flyingbuttressman
QUOTE (H2O+Nov 9 2009, 01:22 PM)
I'm not too sure but I think the time frame is off. I think "how much per day?" or at most "how much per week?" would've been better because I'm fairly sure that radiation isn't accumulative. That is it doesn't remain in your system for the rest of your life and once you reach a limit you can't work around it anymore. I'm fairly sure that it's daily and that once you reach a daily limit of exposure you must wait till the next day (basically 24 hours).

Radiation isn't accumulative, but damage is. The more radiation you get, the more damage you get to your cells.
guiding_light
QUOTE (flyingbuttressman+Nov 9 2009, 04:13 PM)
You're not questioning an existing practice. Doctors are already SUPPOSED to do that. You're doing nothing but fear-mongering about X-Rays. There are enough stupid people out there that think that cell phones and microwaves will give them cancer without them being afraid of X-rays.

I had my fourth X-ray this year (different each time). I supposed since it is localized differently each time, doctors may not see a threat in the accumulation history. But I think if I made the request next time, they could accomodate some alternative like MRI or ultrasound, but it would be a special prepay or definitely extra long wait compared to X-rays. You are already not well, now you have to choose between additional radiation risk or inconvenience/payment. Barring massive healthcare reform, new medical technologies welcome.
light in the tunnel
Recently someone told me about how a friend had once tried to use his father's Xray machine as a tanning lamp. Apparently he didn't get badly burned or tanned, but did peel badly after several days. I wonder if this is because Xrays penetrate more deeply than UV.

I have heard different ideas about skin cancer from sun/radiation exposure. I have heard that intense burns are more likely to cause cancer in the long run. I always assumed that slow tanning actually protects skin from burning as badly and therefore prevents cancer, but I believe I've also heard somewhere that this may contribute to cancer.
H2O
Quick search found this, the person either is very informative or copy and pasted from another place.

Source says "Professional Nurse" which, my guess, means she is one.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qi...11161921AAOPlBz

So it's yearly after all but with that amount of yearly allowance the numbers in the poll are too low to start and not the correct means. It's not about number of exposures but amount of radiation.

As for the damage being accumulative, that depends one what you mean by damage. Once you get cancer from radiation you have it. Hope it gets successfully treated (most likely by more radiation) or goes into recession. Other types of damage (cell destruction) is not accumulative since our bodies can replace dead/damaged cells.
light in the tunnel
QUOTE (H2O+Nov 10 2009, 12:40 PM)
As for the damage being accumulative, that depends one what you mean by damage. Once you get cancer from radiation you have it. Hope it gets successfully treated (most likely by more radiation) or goes into recession. Other types of damage (cell destruction) is not accumulative since our bodies can replace dead/damaged cells.

Probably more frequent exposures just increase the chance of one of them causing tissue mutation that will result in cancer. For it to happen cumulatively, wouldn't that mean that the same cell would have to be progressively damaged/mutated over successive exposures?
Bivalves
Looked @ this thread and immediately thought; what might be the average amount of solar x-rays (produced largely in the corona) actually make it to the earths surface? - thought there'd be @ least some data. I've spent a few minutes conducting a google search, and as of yet, sod-all luck.

If anyone has any success - be sure to post here. biggrin.gif
adoucette
QUOTE (guiding_light+Nov 9 2009, 10:56 AM)
http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/h...300104xray.html

Maybe it is just one alarming assessment, but it is indeed a good standard procedure to consult patient's radiological history prior to an X-ray. At the very least, if it is your tenth one for your head or chest region, remind the doctor or nurse. They will pick the next best alternative, probably an MRI.

The actual study results were:

QUOTE
The researchers calculated that the additional radiation exposure (from medical X-ray tests) would increase a UK person's cumulative risk of developing cancer by the age of 75 by 0.6%.


BUT

A male already has about a 44% chance of developing cancer by age 75, so the decrease you would get by avoiding all X-rays would be negligable.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/...From_Cancer.asp

BUT

Not everyone gets the same amount of radiation from X-rays.

There is a HUGE difference in the amount used for medical tests.

And most people will not ever have many of these high dose tests.

So, you are RIGHT to be concerned about the high dosage tests (barium enima, flouroscope, CT scan etc)

BUT

Your worry is a tad misplaced for the very low dose X-rays used for broken bones and teeth for which they report "negligible risk". (equiv to a couple of days of normal background exposure)


From the UK Health Protection Agency

http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebSta...C/1195733826941

Similarly you should realize that we are talking about lifetime exposures.

Once you hit about 50 or 60 you can almost completely forget this, since the lifetime exposure is no longer a significant issue.

Where one should be MOST concerned is high dosage radiation to pregnant mothers, infants and young children.

Arthur
MjolnirPants
Damage from x-rays is permanent to the cells which it affects. Most cells in the human body will die and be replaced over the course of a year, however, leading most organizations which operate x-ray producing equipment to adopt the ALI standard for measuring radiation dosages, which calculates dosage received only over the course of the past 12 months.

While the human body does actually repair quite a bit of the damage done by x-rays, this repair work is not always completely successful. Damage done to the DNA of a cell will show up in any next-generation cells produced by it. While this is the mechanism by which cancer risks increase over time, there are other problems resulting from in-vivo mutations which can be a result of this. These problems tend to be rare for one important reason, however: At the doses required to cause problems other than increased cancer risk, most people do not survive long enough for these problems to become apparent.

So as long as the x-rays aren't being taken of your head (or your hips for the young women out there), you're not going to have to worry too much about exposure over the course of your lifetime, so long as your exposure over the past 12 months is under 5 rems or so.
H2O
Well put MP. Sounds quite right to me.

blink.gif
Did hell just freeze over
laugh.gif
guiding_light
Well, thanks all for the comments and contributed information. Sorry if the topic is alarming but I am sure you are all capable of reasonable estimates of "safe exposure".

I am obliged to leave you with consideration of how even the correct dose can be guaranteed:
http://iopscience.iop.org/0031-9155/36/8/0...iopsciencetrial
Matador
Unfortunately you do not have a license to view this article in IOPscience.
Astro
I heard them say its safe

thX AsTrO
guiding_light
QUOTE (Matador+Nov 13 2009, 07:45 AM)
Unfortunately you do not have a license to view this article in IOPscience.

Sorry about that, let me check what I can legally abstract from it.
rpenner
The whole question of "how many is safe" is wrong-headed.

X-ray exposure is a risk -- quite possibly with no minimum threshold of exposure below which there is no risk. So all X-ray exposure should be one of those medical risk vs. rewards informed consent-type decisions made by the patient or next-of-kin in consultation with doctors.
Guest
QUOTE (guiding_light+Nov 13 2009, 03:00 PM)
Sorry about that, let me check what I can legally abstract from it.

Complications in low energy X-ray dosimetry caused by electron contamination
S C Klevenhagen et al 1991 Phys. Med. Biol. 36 1111-1116

X-rays are detected by their ionizations, but the ionization-produced electrons produced also cause ionizations. The ionization current detector can't tell the difference.
MjolnirPants
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread but...

Wikipedia - Risks of Medical Diagnostic X-Rays
bukh
QUOTE (MjolnirPants+Sep 14 2010, 12:43 AM)
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread but...

Wikipedia - Risks of Medical Diagnostic X-Rays

IMO the thread is a dead thread already for the very good reasons pointed by rpenner

"The whole question of "how many is safe" is wrong-headed."

And in a not too distant future probably also dead with the fast development of alternative and superior diagnostic methods like MRI - CT

boit
QUOTE (bukh+Sep 15 2010, 06:51 PM)
IMO the thread is a dead thread already for the very good reasons pointed by rpenner

"The whole question of "how many is safe" is wrong-headed."

And in a not too distant future probably also dead with the fast development of alternative and superior diagnostic methods like MRI - CT

Wait a minute. Doesn't CT scan use x-rays? To the best of my knowledge MRI is the only one of the two that does not use ionizing radiations. There seems to be nothing non-invasive about CT scan.
bukh
QUOTE (boit+Sep 16 2010, 04:05 AM)
Wait a minute. Doesn't CT scan use x-rays? To the best of my knowledge MRI is the only one of the two that does not use ionizing radiations. There seems to be nothing non-invasive about CT scan.

Hi boit

My blunder - of course you are right - I am just used to think CT MRI together -

Thank You -

Anyhow - anything being used to visualize "inside a body" must by its very definition be invasive in one or another way - and time will tell if exposure to a strong magnetic field and radio waves can result in any bodily harm.
Guest
The worst risk is actually to the technician, nurse, dentist or doctor doing thousands of X-rays in a year. That dose if all at once could cause radiation sickness and death.

Of course that's why they step out of the room but aren't the X-rays able to go through walls?

Even granting no human risk, practically still need to deal with cumulative damage to the X-ray equipment and surroundings which stay fixed in place.
hanxu
QUOTE (rpenner+Nov 14 2009, 05:06 AM)
The whole question of "how many is safe" is wrong-headed.

X-ray exposure is a risk -- quite possibly with no minimum threshold of exposure below which there is no risk. So all X-ray exposure should be one of those medical risk vs. rewards informed consent-type decisions made by the patient or next-of-kin in consultation with doctors.

Could you please post a source that there is no minimum threshold of exposure below which there is no risk? I need a source for it for a Wikipedia article. It's one of those things I "know" is true from being told it many times, but I have trouble finding a source for it. Thanks in advance!
boit
Some x-rays are quite unnecessary in the first place. How can one justifysubjecting an otherwise healthy person to radiation no matter how 'mild'. To join a collage in my country, a candidate is asked to undergo a medical exam that include an x-ray of the chest. I routinely ignore this and perform a physical exam instead. A simple percussion of the chest and auscultation is enough. This helps decide who really may require an x-ray check. But to fly to the United States, there is no two ways about it. You have to get an x-ray done. I hope what i witnessed was an exception rather than the rule.
leohh
good advice
Beer w/Straw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XENImW3yB0I&NR=1
rockersmith
I'm not quite sure, but I think the time is off limits. It is better because I am quite sure that radiation is not cumulative. That's it in your system does not remain for the rest of your life and once you have a limit you can not work around it now .
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