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A 36-year-old female asked:

Are ct scans really bad? my son had 2 head ct scans 6 months apart when he was 3 in the er. they said total msv for both scans was 3.8 msv. i worry about his cancer risk now. is it greatly increased?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Tamler
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 35 years experience
We are all exposed to natural radiation. The average person receives a dose of about 3 mSv per year from natural radiation, which includes cosmic radiation from space. These natural "background doses" vary according to where you live. Simply put, the amount of radiation from a head CT is about the same as 8 months of natural background radiation that we are exposed to as part of our daily living.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 51 years experience
The increase in cancer risk, if any is not measurable above the background risk. Your son can reduce the risk - You can reduce your risk of cancer by adopting healthy habits: Eat a mostly vegetarian diet, avoid alcohol, tobacco and street drugs, avoid excessive exposure to sun, get HPV vaccine, exercise 30 minutes each day, drink enough water so your urine is mostly colorless.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Sep 29, 2021

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