Radiation Doses- What to Worry about and What to Shrug Off when we have CLL

Hi friends

I just revisited the issue of radiation risk on my blog bkoffman.blogspot.com with a focus on the exposures at very low doses.

Bottom line- no amount of radiation is good and all exposure is cumulative, but the risk from most plain films and dental imaging is small.

I have included a chart that scales up from the radiation from a banana to that of Chernobyl.

Stay strong.

We are all in this together.


9 Replies

  • A friend of mine told me, because of cut backs in Britain, Xray machine's are not calibrated as often as they should be, if at all!

  • I can't read the chart even with squinting Brian. I'm interested in seeing it. Is it available elsewhere please?



  • Not sure if it will work for you NEwdawn but i just clicked on the chart and it enlarged. Big enough to read fairly easily. Hope it works for you.


  • Oh thanks Sue, it's opened now...wouldn't when I first tried.

    Many thanks :-)


  • There is diagnostic radiation exposure and there is radiotherapy... quite different in intent and dose.

    Radiation from radiotherapy can be curative, as example in very early stage SLL, when a single node or node cluster is involved... patients undergoing radiotherapy have been cured...

    Further, it is highly beneficial as a treatment. In my case 30 Gy targeted at my L2 vertebrae where my Richter's DLBCL originated, has been obliterated for the past 36 months... not a cure...but considering the alternative... I'll take it.

    So even in massive doses there can be a benefit and an obvious risk......

    Is my current colon cancer a result of this radiotherapy? ...who knows... might be ... could be 30 years of smoking... 🚬

    It is almost impossible to attribute.


  • Agree. Different subjects really.

  • Brian,

    I was originally diagnosed with Thyroid cancer (papillary) and CLL on the same day. The doctor was looking at the swollen lymph-node on my neck and found the mass on my thyroid. Since 2011, I have endured multiple CT scans and a one time radioative iodine therapy. Everytime I would ask what amount of radiation that I was being exposed to. I would be met with blank stares. It was as if this was the first time anyone had brought up the topic. My original plan was to keep a log of the dates and the amount of radiation exposure. Totally frustrated by the lack of knowledgeable responses, I gave up.

    I am in a phase 1 drug trial in which I have had 6 CT scans in the last 10 months with many more to come. In the back of my mind I keep thinking that I will hold CLL at bay only to be subject to secondary cancers. Is my thinking fuzzy?



  • If you need a CT, you need it. If you don't, you don't. While the relative risks increases with more radiation exposure, the absolute risk is still small. Don't borrow trouble. Two cancers is enough of a burden. Stay strong. Brian

  • Thanks for your note-I to share the same concerns with little helpful response from my doctors. take care-best wishes for the holidays?

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