Can taking too many x-rays predispose to cancer?
Q: I am 19 years old, male, and recently had acute stomachache. My GP prescribed some medicines but it recurred again after a few days. He then advised me to undergo an ultrasonography test, the results of which showed no abnormality. He then recommended a Barium X-ray with a follow through of the complete intestine and GI Tract. These results also showed no abnormality. Now, even though I have been cured of the problem (colitis), a strange thought haunts me. On the day of the Barium meal X-ray and the day after, 12 X-ray were taken (10 X-rays on the first day, and 2 X-rays on the following day). Can you please help me, by telling what are the chances of me getting cancer, as I was exposed to such much radiation, so many times? The feeling of me getting cancer due to the X-rays haunts me day and night. Kindly help.
A:Depending on the machine used the average radiation of a Barium meal and follow through is about 3mSv which is equivalent to about 15 Chest X-rays. This would be equivalent to about 16 months of natural background radiation. I think the risk of getting cancer is extremely small and I would not worry about it. Hope this is helpful.