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Which Scans Free of Radiation?


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Old 09-23-2008, 03:51 AM   #1
Eagle
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Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Ultrasound for other parts of the body doesn't involved any Radiation, or drinking anything, but for thyroid nodules it does, a tracer dose.

Can anyone name all the various scans and tell us which ones are free of Radiation? TIA.

Last edited by Eagle; 09-23-2008 at 03:52 AM.

 
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:14 AM   #2
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

No, my neck scans (I have them regularly) are ultrasound and there is no radioactive dyes or tracers involved whatsoever (I've asked)---ultrasound/sonogram uses sound waves to see---you should go to a different place to have this done if yours uses radioactive dyes and you are afraid of them.

The scans of neck that usually require radioactive tracer dose are called "Uptake scans".

 
Old 09-23-2008, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Dito on Reece.

An ultasound uses sound waves and the equivalent of body sonar to determine what the thyroid tissue structure is like. The only radioactive thyroid scans and treatments are the Iodine uptake scan AND radioactive iodine ablation (RAI) of the thyroid in instances of cancer or Graves.

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Old 09-24-2008, 03:49 AM   #4
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Thanks for the replies to clear that up.

So you could have both your neck and esophagus scanned harmlessly, by making sure your doctor understands you want to avoid like the plague all forms of radiation. "Uptake", of course. It's easy to forget that detail. And "ablation". Thanks again.

Last edited by Eagle; 09-24-2008 at 03:51 AM.

 
Old 09-24-2008, 09:44 AM   #5
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Ultrasound and uptake scans show different things.
Nodules, thyroid function, and sometimes texture are shown by ultrasound.
In order to determine how those tissues are behaving - whether the nodules are "hot" or "cold", whether the tissue is manufacturing enough hormone, etc - requires an uptake scan including tracer. Sometimes that can't be avoided. Would I have the test without good reason? Of course not. But if it was thought I had a hot or cold nodules that needed investigation, no problem.

I'm not a big fan of the idea of putting radiation in my body either, but sometimes it can't be avoided. I just had a tracer administered for an abdominal CT scan 2 weeks ago. Have had uncountable dental X-rays, joint X-rays, DEXA scans... They all had to be done, so I accept it. Do what I gotta.

Last edited by midwest1; 09-24-2008 at 09:45 AM.

 
Old 09-24-2008, 06:16 PM   #6
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest1 View Post
Ultrasound and uptake scans show different things.
Nodules, thyroid function, and sometimes texture are shown by ultrasound.
In order to determine how those tissues are behaving - whether the nodules are "hot" or "cold", whether the tissue is manufacturing enough hormone, etc - requires an uptake scan including tracer. Sometimes that can't be avoided. Would I have the test without good reason? Of course not. But if it was thought I had a hot or cold nodules that needed investigation, no problem.
Hi, Midwest, but if the result of ultrasound shows that the nodule is less than 1cm size, do you think it is necessary to have uptake scans? Does it matter that know a nodule is "hot" ,"warm", "cool", or "cold"?

Jenny

 
Old 09-25-2008, 03:19 AM   #7
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutejenny77 View Post
Hi, Midwest, but if the result of ultrasound shows that the nodule is less than 1cm size, do you think it is necessary to have uptake scans? Does it matter that know a nodule is "hot" ,"warm", "cool", or "cold"?

Jenny
Good question, I'm quoting in case we've turned a page.

Thanks for all the previous replies, very informative. So the CT scan does involve some radiation. What about MRI?

Yes, I know, Midwest, sometimes you have to accept some radiation but I sure want to check everything else first. A very few dentists now have digital xrays, so there must be a considerable amount of radiation there and we all know they dearly love to rather recklessly make new xrays, a technician having goofed up one very slightly, or something like that. ( :>)

Last edited by Eagle; 09-25-2008 at 03:21 AM.

 
Old 09-25-2008, 08:36 AM   #8
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

I don't know enough to say when any particular kind of imaging test is necessary, because I've personally never had any kind of thyroid imaging. I was just trying to clarify the difference between ultrasound and uptake scans, to demonstrate that the tests have different goals.

My dentist now has digital X-rays. From talking to him, I think the technology has come about largely for the professional's benefit - less storage space for the films is needed, probably less maintenance needed on the equipment. Whoa, wait a minute though... A lead apron was still placed on me. Must mean that radiation is still involved, even if the images are digital. I still don't worry about it. The rad'n involved is probably a mere minutia of that which one gets from the sun, air, ground, TV screen, or computer monitor on a daily basis. I get dental X-rays about every 2 or 3 years. Why would I worry about that?

CTs are X-rays studies. They can be done with or without iodine tracer, depending on the body part examined. MRI's use magnetic resonance, not X-rays, and I don't think they ever involve iodine tracer - but I could be wrong about that.

Edited to add: Here's a page that'll give you a better idea of the rad'n you face daily. Maybe it will put into perspective the "danger" faced in occasional medical testing ~
[url] http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/around-us/doses-daily-lives.html [/url]

Last edited by midwest1; 09-25-2008 at 08:39 AM.

 
Old 09-25-2008, 09:42 PM   #9
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Unhappy Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

For possible harmful radiation in the test, I would say something about that.

When I was 11 yo, I was tested for Thyroid 131 Absorption Rate due to thyroid diffuse goiter at that time. I found a small size of nodule together with the thyroid goiter in the following years(not sure when it came out), now I strongly suspect that my nodule was caused by the possible radiation of the test given in the childhood, I am still wondering if the nodule is not really a thyroid nodule, but a parathyroid tumor which would cause the hyperparathyroidism.

Last edited by cutejenny77; 09-25-2008 at 09:44 PM.

 
Old 09-26-2008, 05:01 AM   #10
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Tons of people are walking around with thyroid nodules, and don't even know it, a very high percentage---95% are benign, and most have probably not had an uptake scan---ever in their lives. It's possible that anything comes from anything, but you will never know for sure, and that's just life.

The reason some doctors do uptake scans, it's to build the case for removal or not---cold nodules have a slightly increased chance for cancer than hot ones---so let's say you had a cold nodule, and a inconclusive biopsy, and it had grown a great deal in the past year, it would be easier to decide to remove it surgically or not.

Nowdays, some doctors just do the biopsy, my first ENT insisted on the uptake scan first, each doctor is different.

MRI's don't have radiation, but I believe there is contrast used for some studies, depending upon what you're looking for.

My belief is, if you are suffering or concerned about something, you just gotta do what you gotta do.

 
Old 09-26-2008, 06:33 AM   #11
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Re: Which Scans Free of Radiation?

Many thanks to all of you for all the information.

My dental xrays have been a lot more often, at the drop of a hat, for cleaning and for every little thing. I think one was just misplaced, at least one time. They do tell you there's not much radiation, but if too-frequent, you have to wonder if they have proper concern for you. I forget, but guess there is an extra charge, so, conceivably that could even be a "motive" or incentive. Not accusing anyone, just a spur of the moment thought re current "hard times" when there may be fewer insurance patients.

If they only did xrays every 3 yrs, I'd be impressed.

Last edited by Eagle; 09-26-2008 at 06:34 AM.

 
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