josephf1

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Jul 17, 2006
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Anyone know from EXPERIENCE (NOT HERESAY) if this profession is dangerous to doctors. I read on the net that intervntionla gus are getting leukemia early and cataracts in their 30s from scattered radiation from seeds. Also inadequate coverage of ceratin ares of the body (hands, eyes). Not sure if diagnostic rads has this level of exposure, maybe from CT machines are scattered radiation also? Any working residents know this and can respond?
Thanks
 

yowhassupdude

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Jul 23, 2006
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josephf1 said:
Anyone know from EXPERIENCE (NOT HERESAY) if this profession is dangerous to doctors. I read on the net that intervntionla gus are getting leukemia early and cataracts in their 30s from scattered radiation from seeds. Also inadequate coverage of ceratin ares of the body (hands, eyes). Not sure if diagnostic rads has this level of exposure, maybe from CT machines are scattered radiation also? Any working residents know this and can respond?
Thanks
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=15375227&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_docsum

Radiologists and radiologic technologists were among the earliest occupational groups exposed to ionizing radiation and represent a large segment of the working population exposed to radiation from human-made sources. The authors reviewed epidemiologic data on cancer risks from eight cohorts of over 270,000 radiologists and technologists in various countries. The most consistent finding was increased mortality due to leukemia among early workers employed before 1950, when radiation exposures were high. This, together with an increasing risk of leukemia with increasing duration of work in the early years, provided evidence of an excess risk of leukemia associated with occupational radiation exposure in that period. While findings on several types of solid cancers were less consistent, several studies provided evidence of a radiation effect for breast cancer and skin cancer. To date, there is no clear evidence of an increased cancer risk in medical radiation workers exposed to current levels of radiation doses. However, given a relatively short period of time for which the most recent workers have been followed up and in view of the increasing uses of radiation in modern medical practices, it is important to continue to monitor the health status of medical radiation workers.
 

f_w

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There is no current (post 1940s) data showing an increased risk for malignancies. The horror-stories are based on people who worked in the early days of the specialty when x-ray equipment emitted 1000s the amount of scatter radiation to the operator than today.

The use of 'seeds' falls into the specialty of radiation oncology. I am not aware that this represents a major health risk to our rad-onc colleagues assuming the use of proper precautions.

For anyone working in diagnostic radiology, the doses are minimal. The occasional fluoroscopy study if done right will result in an inconsequential occupational exposure.

In IR it is important to heed the principles of radiation protection and to use proper equipment (angio suite instead of c-arms). If one does so, the exposure can be expected to be within the allowed limits. That said, there is a recent small cross-sectional study that showed posterior capsular cataracts in the left eyes of high-volume IR docs. Not exactly the end of the world to have a cataract extraction in your 50s instead of your 60s.
 
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