Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Hi all , how many Catscans can one have before they can cause other cancers? Thanks. Jq

Re: Catscans

Hi John,
Gee what a good simple question, ah but alas, requiring very complex answers.

First up we need to acknowledge that radiation can be a cause of cancer in it's various forms. But it's utility as both a diagnostic and treatment modality is without question in modern medicine. Thus we need to balance the risk, versus the benefit, as is the case with almost all modern medical interventions. Needless to say, most clinicians worth their salt, make patient's very aware of the risk that they are taking. But for the most part, satisfactory outcomes are acheived.

CT scans, as we know use radiation. The dosage is in mGy (one thousandth of a grey). The dosage varies on the part of the body being scanned. But if we use say a chest scan, the effective body dose would be in the order of 5 to 7mGy. So in order to give you a reference point, I underwent 70Gy just in my prostate cancer radiation treatment alone. So to achieve the radiation dose that I received, one would need to have about 14,000 chest CT scans. But aside from my prostate cancer, which thus far is under control, I do not have any other signs of cancer (fingers crossed).

John, perhaps a small history lesson is in order. You have no doubt heard of Marie Curie. She was the pioneer of radiation in medecine and awarded a Nobel Prize for her research. Whilst undertaking her research no safety precautions were used. Why, because the dangers of radiation were not known at that time. She carried radio active isotopes in her pockets, most of her personal effect's are still highly radioactive today, and no doubt her skeleton, were it on exhibit in a museum, would glow in the dark. In total she spent over 40 years working with radiation without any safety requirements whatsoever.

So John, back to your question. If you are after a definitive answer then perhaps my musings are deficient. But in general terms, might I suggest that you worry less, wake up and smell the roses. Most of us on here, are only to well aware of our own mortality and that of our fellow PCa warriors as well. But we are all on the same journey. If you are as well, might I wish you good passage also.

best wishes