Doctor doctor: X-rays and breast cancer

I worked for years as a mining engineer and as a result had to have regular chest x-rays to screen for TB – I had 12 of them in total. I am now 30 and worry that all that radiation has increased my risk of breast cancer – my mother died from it. Is this a reasonable concern?
Please dispel your worries about yourself – my trusted radiologist tells me that the radiation from a chest x-ray is equivalent to less than three days of the natural radiation you receive from an average environment: the radiation you've been exposed to from those 12 x-rays is less than the amount you would be exposed to on a one-way flight from Britain to the Canary Islands, or on a two-week holiday in Cornwall, where radon is a natural constituent of the rock – and the Cornish live just as long as everyone else in Britain. So if you are willing to undertake such holidays, you needn't worry about your past exposure to radiation. What's more, you would need to have all of 150 chest x-rays to pile up the radiation you would receive from a single CAT scan. So, despite the number of times you have been exposed to x-rays, you have not significantly increased your risk of any form of cancer.

I have arthritis in the base of both my thumb joints. I have had therapy and have splints to wear, but the next step is to be a cortisone injection directly into the joint. I have heard that this is very painful and doesn't always work. Surgery is the final option, but this can't be carried out unless I have had the injection. What should I do?
Cortisone injections done under local anaesthetic shouldn't hurt much, and they often don't hurt at all. The idea is that they will ease the inflammation in the joints, so they're used in what we call inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid disease) rather than with degenerative arthritis such as osteoarthritis. If you have been advised that you need a steroid injection, then go for it, with the proviso that you shouldn't need more than one. Don't be afraid of the surgery, if that is what you eventually need: it is very successful these days.

Thanks to who have provided this article. View the original here.


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