Radiation Risks

With all the talk about the accumulation of medical radiation being a cancer risk, I sometimes wonder about all the x-rays taken to assess RA progression.  An initial appointment with a rheumatologist usually includes base-line x-rays.  Additional x-rays are taken routinely every couple years, plus extras whenever something concerning occurs.

Someone commented to me the other day that I should be worried that all those x-rays I’ve gotten might cause cancer.  My response was that if the people with medical training aren’t worried about it, why should I be?!

I wondered how much risk there really is, and discovered a great way to find out.  There’s a website with a radiation risk calculator.  Compile a list of all the x-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy (barium swallows), nuclear medicine studies, and angiograms that you’ve had over the years, enter all the exams into the risk calculator, and your results will easily display.

Cool tool!