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How many MRI's and CT scans before one develops cancer? Am freaking out! Have had one done almost every month for a year! Mommy of three.
Dec 18, 2010

Hello Dr. Bob. I hope as always you are doing outstanding. I am extremely concerned about something. I have wound up at the ER for about a year to a year and a half once a month and every time, they have said I have to have an MRI or CT Scan. I just learned on Dr. Oz that that causes cancer. Now I am freaking out! I have the boys to raise! I am extremely worried and upset. (It has been due to kidney stone, kidney infection, severe back issues due to accidents etc.) What are my chances of developing cancer now? What cancers should I be most worried about? What can I do about it now? Should I be tested for cancer and if so, what kinds? I started taking Vitamin D as I read in health magazines and on the Dr. Oz show that it helps ward of some cancers. Please help me. I have already so many health issues as it is. I love you lots forever and am eternally grateful to you for your love, support and information. Mommy of Three

Response from Dr. Frascino


Dr. Oz? He's cute, but don't believe everything you hear on TV.

MRIs don't use radiation. They use powerful magnets. CT scans, like regular x-rays, do use radiation. However, you have no reason to freak out. If the scans are needed for diagnostic purposes, they are worth the very small risk that cumulative doses of radiation might (and I stress might) cause problems down the road. Some folks request total body scans from their physicians "just to make sure everything is OK." This type of scan is not worth the risk!

Regarding supplemental vitamin D, there has been news that suggests it's helpful in HIVers and other news that suggests it's not helpful in the general population to ward off a variety of ailments including cancers. If your blood vitamin D level is normal, there is no reason to supplement.

Hope that helps. I suggest you try to stay out of emergency rooms! Your general medical doctor and/or your HIV physician specialist should be your primary medical contacts to avoid unnecessary tests (such as unwarranted CT scans) and assure the best ongoing care.

Happy Holidays.

Dr. Bob

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