Oncology (General Cancer)/Radiation from ct scans



I recently went in for a ct scan of my head with and without contrast. I had no idea going in that is actually 2 full scans in a row. I have read that the average head ct is 2 mSv's, but because mine was done with and without contrast, it came back as 5.5 mSv's. I'm worried that because mine was so much larger than normal, that my chances of developing cancer are much higher.

Is it common to have head ct's done with and without contrast at the same time?
Does the amount of radiation I was exposed to seem high?
Should I have any concerns?
What is my risk of developing cancer at some point in my life from these scans?

Thank you!

You are exposed to radiation all your life. Every time you travel by air your radiation exposure increases quite a lot since the higher up you are the more cosmic (natural) radiation you will be exposed to . If you live in Denver Colorado "the mile high city" you will all the time, night and day, be exposed to more than double the amount of radiation than you would be exposed to at sea level. The amount of radiation you have received is normal for this type of examination. It is normal to do these 2 examinations together since they complement each other. However ionizing radiation (x-rays) can be avoided all together if your brain scan instead had been done as an MRI-scan. However the method that is chosen also depends on what the goal is of the examination. For some CT is best for others MRI. Honestly speaking the contribution of this examination alone is so small that there is no reason to worry about it at all! The risks are astronomically bigger every time you step into your car!

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Oncology (General Cancer)

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.


Questions concerning Cancer, Oncology, radiation Therapy, Tumours, Chemotherapy, Cytotoxic Drugs, Hormonal Therapy, Radiation Protection.


I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 I have no restrictions in the number of questions there. I also answer questions in these other categories: General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer

I'm a medical doctor and specialist in medical oncology and radiation therapy

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