I recently had a DaT scan to check whether I have Parkinson's. The scan involves an injection with radioactive material that is then seen by using a CT-like method, only with higher radiation levels.
Don't get me wrong - I did my research into this scan before having it and everywhere I looked its said that it's safe. I was very reluctant to have it. Absolutely reluctant but like an idiot, I went and had it anyway.
I then saw a random clip on You Tube about the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster and its effects. The woman presenting, a doctor, started by saying that even the smallest XRay affects the DNA, causing cancer. CTs are even worse and PET scans even worse than that.
With that in mind I went back to my medical file and listed the occasions when I had Xrays and CT scans in the past 10 years.
In total I had 12 Xrays, 7 CT scans, a HIDA scan (with radioactive injection) and a DaT scan (with radioactive injection.
The radiation impact is cummulative - i.e. each time you have another, it adds up to the ones already had. It is sometimes referenced to the number of background radiation we receive through just living on this planet. To give an example, an X-ray of teeth equals about 1 day's worth of natural radiation, whereas a heart CT equals 3 years of natural radiation and a PET scan 8 years of natural radiation.
If I use these equivalent values cummulative for all the xrays and CTs I've had so far, I've been exposed to 27 years of background radiation in addition to the 10 years natural radiation that I've been living in. Add to that the risk is higher in women and even higher in immunosuppressed people, I'm now really freaking out!
Looking back to the list of scans, I could have avoided the vast majority of them. I could have said 'NO' to them, including the last one which I think was the worst.
In an effort to protect myself from the lupus impact, I ended up giving myself a very high risk of cancer.
How stupid is THAT?
I can't believe how many of these I've had - has anyone else had so many?