How much radiation

jtl
jtl Member Posts: 456
edited May 2012 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
I know some of us are concerned about radiation from scans so I did a little research.

Interestingly the only radiation from PET is from the short lived tracer that they inject you with. It is only 5-7 mSv (millisievert) and we all get 2-5 mSv through natural exposure per year. CT scans are more on the order of 15 mSv. Here is the scary part. Most of us received about 2 Gy per treatment day and that is equal to 2000 mSv per treatment day (70,000 mSv). Compare that to an estimated 400 mSv/hr at the site of the Japanese nuclear power plant disaster. That is like spending 7 days at gound zero. Thankfully the rads were concentrated and not spread over the entire body.

Another thing I did not know, smoking a singe pack of cigarettes per day for one year is 53 mSv.

I am retired and it is raining so I guess I was bored.
John

Comments

  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    2Grays/Day
    Sounds like you got that nailed....

    I had 7,000 Grays on the affected side, and 6,000 Grays on the other (35 days of rads).

    JG
  • jtl
    jtl Member Posts: 456
    Skiffin16 said:

    2Grays/Day
    Sounds like you got that nailed....

    I had 7,000 Grays on the affected side, and 6,000 Grays on the other (35 days of rads).

    JG

    Clarification
    Just so that people do not get confused. Grays are often quoted by a factor by x100. Most of the studies online use 70 Gy when in fact it is 7000 Gy. I don't know why but it was confirmed by my rad onc. I also had 7000 I assume more to some areas and less to others but the max was 7000. So your total was 7000, correct. That seems to be pretty standard.
    John
  • ratface
    ratface Member Posts: 1,337 Member
    jtl said:

    Clarification
    Just so that people do not get confused. Grays are often quoted by a factor by x100. Most of the studies online use 70 Gy when in fact it is 7000 Gy. I don't know why but it was confirmed by my rad onc. I also had 7000 I assume more to some areas and less to others but the max was 7000. So your total was 7000, correct. That seems to be pretty standard.
    John

    what does it mean?
    7 days at ground zero sounds pretty dangerous. What are the odds in favor of a radiation induced second cancer?
  • hawk711
    hawk711 Member Posts: 566
    ratface said:

    what does it mean?
    7 days at ground zero sounds pretty dangerous. What are the odds in favor of a radiation induced second cancer?

    Great question RF
    My doc told me that 14+ years after heavy radiation, we can be looking at skin cancer from all the rads. Quite nice of him to tell me after! I'd still have signed up for the cure. So be on the watchout for skin issues in the neck and face area and always SPF up!
    All the best,
    Steve
  • jtl
    jtl Member Posts: 456
    ratface said:

    what does it mean?
    7 days at ground zero sounds pretty dangerous. What are the odds in favor of a radiation induced second cancer?

    Who knows?
    That is a tough question and I have not read of too many studies. The problem of course is the recurrent cancer caused by the rads or because the original cancer was never really eliminated? In any event our choices were limited to take a chance on rt or die from scchn.
    John
  • jtl
    jtl Member Posts: 456
    hawk711 said:

    Great question RF
    My doc told me that 14+ years after heavy radiation, we can be looking at skin cancer from all the rads. Quite nice of him to tell me after! I'd still have signed up for the cure. So be on the watchout for skin issues in the neck and face area and always SPF up!
    All the best,
    Steve

    14 years? I don't even buy
    14 years? I don't even buy ripe bananas given my age and after this ordeal.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Secondary Cancer...
    I have read several places that your odds are good for not getting a secondary cancer up through a certain age.

    After that you start loosing something like 5% a year....can't remember the specific numbers.

    I don't buy into the odds and percentages too much personally.

    JG
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    jtl said:

    Clarification
    Just so that people do not get confused. Grays are often quoted by a factor by x100. Most of the studies online use 70 Gy when in fact it is 7000 Gy. I don't know why but it was confirmed by my rad onc. I also had 7000 I assume more to some areas and less to others but the max was 7000. So your total was 7000, correct. That seems to be pretty standard.
    John

    Numbers
    Best that I can remember it was 7,000 on the affected side and 6,000 on the other side.

    I only remember the numbers from when I had to get a root canal and had to get the exposures for the Dentist.

    Could be wrong...I'll lay it off on chemo brain at the time.

    JG
  • ooo
    ooo Member Posts: 105
    You guys might love
    You guys might love this:

    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    Things are measured in Sievert (Sv), which, for X-rays are equal to Gray (1 Sv = 1Gy). Most of us get about 70Gy (or 70Sv) by the end of treatment, i.e. 10+ minutes next to the Chernobyl reactor after meltdown according to the graph.. ;)

    I got 30Gy so far and my tongue is not happy! :#

    Just to be picky, 1 Gray = 100 rads, so during treatment people get ~70 Gy or ~7,000 rad

    Best,

    Dre.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    ooo said:

    You guys might love
    You guys might love this:

    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    Things are measured in Sievert (Sv), which, for X-rays are equal to Gray (1 Sv = 1Gy). Most of us get about 70Gy (or 70Sv) by the end of treatment, i.e. 10+ minutes next to the Chernobyl reactor after meltdown according to the graph.. ;)

    I got 30Gy so far and my tongue is not happy! :#

    Just to be picky, 1 Gray = 100 rads, so during treatment people get ~70 Gy or ~7,000 rad

    Best,

    Dre.

    Rads - Grays...
    I do usually get the rads and grays confused..... either way, it was a s.h.i.t load~
  • hawk711
    hawk711 Member Posts: 566
    Skiffin16 said:

    Rads - Grays...
    I do usually get the rads and grays confused..... either way, it was a s.h.i.t load~

    How much rads, just enough,,,,,,,
    we all had too much rads! But it worked to get rid of the cancer. I'll bet we could all have energized a car or plane with all the rads in our system! I'm glad the rads killed the cancer. Like Skiffin, I don't worry about statistics, just enjoy the day and am happy the that so many of us are NED. All you others keep plugging, working, fighting and you'll find that all those bad Rad side effects will get a better over time. NED is the real reason we go through this stuff.
  • fisrpotpe
    fisrpotpe Member Posts: 1,349 Member
    difference
    i was given just over 7800 rads back 16 plus years ago, the radiation then was not as pin pointed as it is today. the radiation i had went over most all of the neck area from half way thru the ear down to where the neck leave the shoulders. the best difference i see now is that having 7000 rads in the area of tumors and nodes and being directed away from voice box and saliva glands. today many fighters are seeing and experiencing far less side effects.

    john
  • fisrpotpe
    fisrpotpe Member Posts: 1,349 Member
    difference
    i was given just over 7800 rads back 16 plus years ago, the radiation then was not as pin pointed as it is today. the radiation i had went over most all of the neck area from half way thru the ear down to where the neck leave the shoulders. the best difference i see now is that having 7000 rads in the area of tumors and nodes and being directed away from voice box and saliva glands. today many fighters are seeing and experiencing far less side effects.

    john
  • jtl
    jtl Member Posts: 456
    ooo said:

    You guys might love
    You guys might love this:

    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    Things are measured in Sievert (Sv), which, for X-rays are equal to Gray (1 Sv = 1Gy). Most of us get about 70Gy (or 70Sv) by the end of treatment, i.e. 10+ minutes next to the Chernobyl reactor after meltdown according to the graph.. ;)

    I got 30Gy so far and my tongue is not happy! :#

    Just to be picky, 1 Gray = 100 rads, so during treatment people get ~70 Gy or ~7,000 rad

    Best,

    Dre.

    Thanks for the clarification
    Thanks for the clarification on the Gy vs Rads, I should have noticed that but I didn't.

    The whole thing with converting Gy to Sv does not make sense. I had a difficult time trying to find a conversion for IMRT in Gy's to Sv's. Most of the charts are based on scans not therapeutic dosage. I did see something that said 1 Gy = 1 Sv but how can that be when 8 Sv is fatal. It could be that we only get radiation for a brief period and it is only in a small concentrated area. I know my treatment varied a lot from 56 on lymph nodes to 70 on the primary site and <26 on the parotid gland but it was still a lot of Gy.
    John
  • tommyodavey
    tommyodavey Member Posts: 726 Member
    fisrpotpe said:

    difference
    i was given just over 7800 rads back 16 plus years ago, the radiation then was not as pin pointed as it is today. the radiation i had went over most all of the neck area from half way thru the ear down to where the neck leave the shoulders. the best difference i see now is that having 7000 rads in the area of tumors and nodes and being directed away from voice box and saliva glands. today many fighters are seeing and experiencing far less side effects.

    john

    Exposure
    I was told that the main culprit for MEC was exposure to radiation. Is this the punishment for being so good about going to the dentist every 6 months with X-Rays once per year? Then they give me radiation to get rid of it. Great.

    Years ago I used to listen to Dr. Dean Edell and he would say that flying exposed a person to a lot of radiation. So I just Googled it and this is a section of what I found:

    "Robert Barish, physicist and author of "The Invisible Passenger: Radiation Risks For People Who Fly," says, "The sun is really a big thermo-nuclear device." Barish believes airline crewmembers are exposing themselves to more radiation than almost any other occupation. He says, "People who work in the nuclear power industry on an average basis are getting 1.6. There are people who fly in airplanes who are getting 2 or 3 or 4 milliSieverts per year. So they are truly radiation workers."

    Flying I have not done a lot of. Must have been the dentist or some other carcinogen.

    And BTW, with my low dose RT I got between 5700 to 6500 rads. At least I think that's what he said.

    T
  • ooo
    ooo Member Posts: 105
    jtl said:

    Thanks for the clarification
    Thanks for the clarification on the Gy vs Rads, I should have noticed that but I didn't.

    The whole thing with converting Gy to Sv does not make sense. I had a difficult time trying to find a conversion for IMRT in Gy's to Sv's. Most of the charts are based on scans not therapeutic dosage. I did see something that said 1 Gy = 1 Sv but how can that be when 8 Sv is fatal. It could be that we only get radiation for a brief period and it is only in a small concentrated area. I know my treatment varied a lot from 56 on lymph nodes to 70 on the primary site and <26 on the parotid gland but it was still a lot of Gy.
    John</p>

    You're right jtl, Sieverts
    You're right jtl, Sieverts are a bit messy.

    Grays and rads are well-defined units, since they rely purely on physics: they measure how much energy is absorbed by a tissue.

    On the other hand, Sieverts try to quantify the *biological damage* of radiation, which depends on many things. It depends on how you deliver energy to the body: photons, protons, alpha particles, .. It also depends on which part of the body you irradiate, since some tissues are more sensitive than others.
    As a stupid example, think of hitting your leg against the corner of a table or against a soft couch. Same energy transfer, very different effect on the body.

    As other mentioned, since our cells can recover from moderate damage, the time during which radiation is delivered is very important as well.. jumping 30 times out of a 2nd-floor window is not the same as jumping once out of a 60th-floor window.

    This being said, it's almost time for my daily 2nd floor jump.. landing on my head and neck.. ;)
  • Greend
    Greend Member Posts: 678
    Exams
    Ok class the Radiology exam will be next Tuesday at 1:00.

    :>)

    Denny
  • Tim6003
    Tim6003 Member Posts: 1,514 Member
    Greend said:

    Exams
    Ok class the Radiology exam will be next Tuesday at 1:00.

    :>)

    Denny

    well...
    I'm going to fail that class for sure ....I have a headache now... :)

    Tim
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Burned Out...
    LOL, ya, I'm kinda "burned out" from the subject.....

    JG
  • Mhowe
    Mhowe Member Posts: 12
    6 rads of radation to neck in 1987

    In 1987 I had cancer on left side due to smoking. After cutting the chit out of left side, then 6000 rads of radation, that is not counting the MIR's, CAT scans, Chest Xrays over 28 years.. In 2003 cancer from long tearm effect on radation. Cut the chit out of right side, rebuild throat with chest muscle 18 month later was able to eat real food, with problems.

    Then in july 2015 one day I couldn't get air into lungs. Went to the ER the next day. More chest Xrays, and a Cat scan. Was told that I have upper lung damage due to ALL the radation over the years. Went to a Lung Doctor, was told eveything looks good. Realy? then why am I haveing a hard time breathing?

    They have no idea on how to treat long term effects. I asked if I should have no more X Rays. They said what X Rays you get is just a very small amout of rads. So at what time is the cup full?