Is a CT Scan absolutely necessary ?

Hey everyone,

I had no idea CT scans could actually be dangerous and have been linked to cancer. I have one scheduled for July 7th, the doctor never mentioned those risks. I understand he wants to do this to quantify the emphysema. I was wondering what do you think about CT scans in those cases. What I read today about X rays and CT scans is actually scaring me and right now I'm not too sure I want to go ahead with it but then again Iam not sure if there's any alternatives.

Iam interested in hearing your experiences and your thoughts on this, thanks !

13 Replies

  • OMG poor Rib will die of fright if he is awake tonight. I think that he has had about a dozen CT and literally dozens of x Rays. How about MRI and the rest?

    I am sure that there must be a theoretical limit but surely it would depend upon the reason for the scans. There are 100's of thousands of people who would be dead if they had not been given CT scans. Millions if x rays had not been in regular use since WWI.

    I am sure you would not come to any significant harm by having a CT scan. Besides many lung disorders cannot be diagnosed by xray. It needs a CT to show up. Eg: Bronchiectasis 🌙

  • Thanks moonatnight.

  • It all started with this Daily Mail article, now I know the Daily Mail is a rag but the article is written by a professor and I genuinely didnt know at all about all this since I never had a CT scan before.

  • Tell your GP if it is really bothering you. At least tell the staff at the CT suite when you get there. I am sure you will not have been their first nervous patient about the procedure. 🌙

  • Ty. I will probably call the pulmonologist to try and get an appointement before the scheduled scan and ask questions that I didnt know I should have asked the first time around. Iam pretty sure he will say it's necessary though. MRI are supposed to be a bit safer I think but not sure if it can be applied here, will ask anyway.

  • I am sure any NHS doctor who orders a CT scan will have considered it essential. They are expensive and booking time on one has to defer to emergency patients arriving as not all hospitals can afford the machines and the staff to operate them.

    MRI is even more expensive and cost huge amounts of money to even run. They certainly do not slate patients for these if any simpler and cheaper diagnostic method can be used.

    I am sure that you will be ok. After all you are only having a quick back and forward. 🌙

  • I think flying in a plane has more risk of helping to get cancer as opposed to all the scans you can have done regularly.

  • About a year and a half after my RTA in 1977 I was told to avoid having further x-rays of my leg for a while by the consultant, but I'd been having two a month on every visit to clinic. They'll be aware of the safety limit recommendations and will warn you if/when you're nearing them, KD12.

  • Thank you Ergendl.

  • Pete is having a CT scan at 5.45 today so hey ho! He has had MRI scans and all but is doing well and will hopefully continue. Who knows. Xxxx

  • Mostly they don't do CT scans if the diagnosis is fairly certain. Clearly they feel they need to establish an accurate diagnosis to determine best treatment for you.

    A CT scan is about the equivalent of 3 years radiation from the atmosphere.

    Here's a pre-warning in case they forget to mention it - CT scans often (40% of scans) find nodules in lungs - more often in (ex)smokers, 60% . If they do find them, they'll want to measure them by scan again from time to time to ensure they are not growing - so you'd need 4/5 more over 3 years to ensure they are not cancerous, albeit these follow ons are smaller scans focussing on just the nodules.

  • Hello KD12,,,,,the better views and 'inner sight' of a part of the body is vital to getting better quality information, on the condition and how best to create a treatment plan.

    The tiny amount of radiation that is emitted is small.

    CT scans give sight of part that is needed for the treatment, and they are giving the doctors the picture they need.

    Don't be alarmed at the prospect,,,they give the best assistance and better answers for the medication plan.

    They are being shown more on the telly,,,,,big donut shape,,,lie on the table and quickly they take the pictures needed and out you come,,,,they are improving the treatment and care for many patients,,,,,better help gives better treatment,,,,,and better answers to questions.

    I have had some scans and I felt better that they knew what was needed,, and they knew what was going on inside me,,,,,,??? don't fret amount having to have a scan or two, they are getting better with less radiation with newer scanners all the time., Karen.

  • Thank you Scouser, that was a good and detailed reply and I really appreciate that.

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