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A 40-year-old member asked:

what is the danger of having too many ct scans? i'm concerned about the radiation. i've had 3 ct scans within one year. i have heard that people have died of bone cancer caused by too many xrays. is this the same?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
The : The main risk of a ct scan is increased risk of developing cancer, but the risk is relatively small. A ct of the abdomen and pelvis increases the cancer mortality risk by approximately 0.05%. In other words, the ct of the abdomen and pelvis increases the chance of you developing cancer in your lifetime from 44% to 44.05%. The increased risk is very small, but it is something people should keep in mind. The benefit of a medically necessary ct scan greatly outweighs the small risk described above; however, some ct scans are performed unnecessarily and provide little benefit to the patient.
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
Imaging Safety: Ct scans use radiation and radiation can cause cancer. Your individual risk of a radiation-caused cancer is likely very low, but we should always try to minimize radiation exposure and only get scans when there is an important health question that can only be answered through a scan. Please speak with the doctor who ordered your scans about your concerns.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Too small to measure: Pilots get an extra 3 mSV yearly and radiation workers up to an extra 20 mSV yearly. This is cumulative. A common CT scan delivers may be 3, a very sick person who needs chest and abdomen with and without contrasts gets 40. No one has been able to measure any increased cancer risk in pilots or radiation workers. I'd stop worrying. If you need the scan, don't hesitate.

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Both of my older kids had chronic ear infections; does this mean my new baby will, too?

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Why can arm swelling and pain happen after breast cancer surgery?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
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Lymphedema: An essential part of breast cancer staging is the removal of some of the lymph nodes under the armpit. The lymphatic system's job includes draining tissue fluid and bringing it back into the circulation. Lymph node removal short-circuits this process leading to the risk of chronic swelling, or lymphedema. The less nodes removed, the lower the risk.
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen commented
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Provided original answer
Sentinel lymph node biopsy has reduced this risk to under 5%, compared to rates of 25% in the past.
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In select patients, even a positive sentinel node may not mandate completion axillary node dissection. Also, with modern chemotherapy, even patients with gross positive node disease up front may be converted to node negative status with neoadjuvant therapy and spared axillary node dissection given a negative sentinel node following neoadjuvant therapy.
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A 49-year-old female asked:

4 months ago I had total knee replacements(both) and I still have swelling, burning, sharp needle like pains is this normal? What are the signs if one is allergic to the metal in the knee replacement (both)

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew DeGruccio
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Can be normal: Some pain and swelling can be normal at this stage. May take close to 1 full year for complete resolution with good therapy. Signs of metal allergy include persistent pain and swelling, skin rashes, including hives , and x-ray findings of component loosening. A sample of the metal, provided by the implant company, can be taped to your arm to confirm. Ask your surgeon.
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A 24-year-old female asked:

Is a heating pad or i've better for kidney pain? Er said I had a UTI but i'm not really having bladder problems, it's just my left kidney.

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roscoe Nelson
Urology 28 years experience
Neither: If it's a stone not much but medication and passing the stone will help. My condolences.

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Last updated Mar 4, 2019

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