CT scan- worried

When they have admitted me to the hospital on the 11th of July I had a head CT scan. I am constantly worried about the level of radiation I have been exposed to without my consent and the implications this may have long termas heard this can cause brain tumors.

I shall also mention that this is also the only CT scan I had in the entirety of my life.

Going to do an MRI this Thursday, 1 month after the CT scan exposure. Do you think I am at risk of developing a brain tumor as a result of CT radiation and if so would this show on MRI next week?


25 Replies

  • AlexLu I know it's very easy for me to say, but you need to relax a little to help your healing. The amount of radiation is very small - thousands of people have CT scans every week, they don't all get brain tumours because of it. I expect many of the people using this site have had one or even more. My husband has had two and is probably going to have another shortly!

    It is natural to worry about everything when things have gone wrong or you have been ill, no matter what the illness, but the calmer you can be and the more you can relax you will feel better and will help your recovery. Phone the Headway number on Monday and talk it over with them, hopefully they can put your mind at rest.

    We are all thinking of you and sending our best wishes.

  • I have called them but because I haven't been diagnosed with BI they said CBT would be my best bet to treat my anxiety.

  • Alex the small amount of radiation for a single head CT is highly unlikely to have any adverse effects now or in the longer term...and no it would not show on an MRI next week.

    I really do believe that CBT to help manage your extreme anxiety should probably be a priority right now. I cannot imagine how awful it must be for you and sadly if you do not get this under control your severe anxiety may cause even more problems for you longer term.

    Maybe if you can focus your energies in that direction everything else will start to fall into place.

    Take care

    PS Not all BI related but I have had 8 CT scans, four PET scans, 7 DEXA scans, countless x-rays and three other specialised scans in the past 15 years without any problems as a result.

  • Alex. Quick answer - no.

    Please, please get to your GP and get that psych referral sorted. You are more in danger from your out of control anxiety than anything else.

  • Good morning AlexLu, can you try to find some relaxation classes near you? They would be able to teach you some ways to deal with it when you feel particularly anxious. This would fit in well with your CBT when you get it. Failing that, Tai Chi or Yoga are both good for relaxing. Do see if you can arranging something like that. You will feel so much better when you can relax and see that things are not as bad as you have been worrying that they are.

  • Hello Alex easy as it is to say, you should try not to worry about this. I've suffered (and still do) anxiety so I can totally relate to how you feel now. You are fine to have these scans I have had 5 this year myself. Please try to do something to address your anxiety like CBT therapy, which I've had and it helps. Or do a yoga class. If you lived near me I'd go with you as I also need to do this. Take care xx

  • I live in Nottingham and thank you all for your kind thoughts. Am going on a holiday for 9 days next Friday after which on the 25th am starting the CBT. Thank you all for the re-assurance, am hoping I won't be developing brain tumor as a result of the CT scan.

  • Thing is I've noticed my hair falling off since the accident over the past 4 weeks so started to worry about the effects of radiation.

  • That will be due to your high levels of anxiety and stressing.

  • I am hoping this is the case and that am at no risk due to the head CT radiation

  • Definitely will not be CT's or MRI's that will cause you a problem. I had multiple scans when I was in a coma and they didn't cause my problems. You have to decide whether your fear of the scan causing you a problem is greater than having a medical procedure to find out if there is any damage to your brain. Personally I do not wish to offend but I think your worry is irrational.

  • I had a HEAD CT though...never in my life have I been exposed to radiation.

  • Hi Alex, radiation is a wave form - it is both naturally occurring and used in medical health interventions for diagnosis and in some cases treatment.

    Radiation exposure depends on three factors:

    1.strength of the radiation source

    2.distance you are from it

    3.duration of the exposure

    As this is your first CT scan, your body should be fully capable to process the more focused radiation impact efficiently and clear toxins quickly. Radiation is measured in millisieverts (mSv).

    A Head CT scan is approximately 2 mSv or equivalent to 8 months natural background radiation. Please read this link for more information on radiation exposure


    If you are concerned (and some people are more sensitive - trust your instinct - always), you can take Iodine.



  • also had a c-spine :(

    would that mine that after 8 months the radiation will be eliminated?

  • In the links above, it explains that there is naturally occurring radiation everywhere, all around us.

    The 8 months is an equivalent in existing background radiation we all are exposed to on a daily basis. Our bodies are exposed to it and already know how to deal with it and clear toxins out of the body quickly and efficiently.

    The time it takes to detoxify depends on you, and how quickly you can get rid of it from the body. So many factors in terms of regular exercise, diet, amount of water you drink each day, and the amount of Iodine you naturally consume from things like seaweed, Iodised salt etc

    Please see the map of naturally occurring radiation in the UK.


    How about eating more Iodine rich foods to help the detox process more quickly? x

  • Thanks for the tip, will try everything to clean my body of this poison...the simple thought of having radiation in my body sickens me.

  • Radiation can directly kill cells, or it can cause mutations to DNA. If those mutations are not repaired, the cell may turn cancerous. Our bodies replace thousands if not millions of cells every day in terms of normal body repair. Radiation is a wave form that moves through the body. Technically, its not a poison like a snake bite. It is a wave form moving through us.

    Research suggests that sleeping more when fighting infectious illness aids recovery.

    This may be due to the immune system's increased production of certain proteins during sleep, as the levels of certain agents which fight disease rise during sleep and drop when we are awake.

    Getting enough sleep can also help resist infection, as some studies of healthy young adults have shown that moderate amounts of sleep deprivation reduce the levels of white blood cells which form part of the body's defence system.

    A cancer killer called TNF - tumour necrosis factor - also pumps through our veins when we are asleep. Research has shown that people who stayed up until 3am had one-third fewer cells containing TNF the next day, and that the effectiveness of those remaining was greatly reduced.

    Sleep well Alex - trust that your body knows how to heal, give it the support it needs and all will be well x

  • I'm hoping so

  • Couldn't live with cancer or with the idea that I ended up infected as a result of this hellish medical procedure namely CT

  • alexlu we are not medical people we only know about brain injury, instead of trying to dump the stress your feeling onto people who have a lot of problems in their own lives, take it back to the people people who know about these things..........the doctors

  • Bit harsh isn't it?

  • sos your whining.! hair falls out through stress

  • That is a very petty remark towards someone who's been through what I am going through at the moment.

  • And it's you're not "your"

  • I really hate to see a thread deteriorate to this level so PLEASE stop now. Thanks

You may also like...