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Terrified about CT radiation of testicle

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  • #16
    It's not possible that a single CT scan would have caused anything like this. I'm pretty sure one of the CT's I had included my testes, and I'm fine. Your doctors have all said this is highly unlikely. Everybody here has said this is highly unlikely. It's your mind playing tricks on you, and yes you really do need to let this go. I have low-T also. I'm not on anything for it and don't really want to be on anything either. I'm keeping myself propped up with regular exercise. Yes, I have some occasional libido and ED issues, but it tends to come near the winter solstice when my whole body just seems to want to shut down for awhile and hibernate. My wife and I have just learned to sort of expect it. No big deal.
    Young Adult Cancer Survivorship by Steve Pake
    April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month!
    www.stevepake.com
    Feb 2011, Stage IIB, 4xEP, RPLND, PTSD
    My Survivorship Thread | All of my Blogs
    C
    ONTACT ME ANYTIME!

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    • #17
      Here's what I was going by:

      Click image for larger version

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      I think the key is repeated exposure. Did you receive a full body scan? And how many did you receive?
      8/5/2013 - right I/O 8/20/2013 - classic seminoma (tumor size 5.5 cm confined to testis. No spermatic cord involvement. Lymph vascular invasion present.) 9/04/2013 - CT scan results - All clear http://www.tc-cancer.com/forum/core/...lies/smile.png 9/23/2013 - met with 2nd oncologist - stage 1B 9/26/2013 - dose 1 of 2 of carboplatin 10/17/2013 - dose 2 of 2 of carboplatin 11/15/2013 - follow up. Still anemic 11/27/2013 - thyroid ultrasound for pain in throat - all clear http://www.tc-cancer.com/forum/core/...lies/smile.png 12/2013 - throat pain dx as intubation injury and stomatitis

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      • #18
        It was an abdominal-pelvic CT which specifically included my testicles at my request (I was highly uninformed).

        Stupid. But perhaps not that damaging. I just haven't spoken with a person who had his testicles specifically radiated at this dose. So I haven't had anyone to compare experiences with.

        Thanks for the graph.

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        • #19
          Please. If there's anyone who has definitely had a similar radiation dose level to his testicles without any ill effects. I'd love to know. I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that my body can recover just fine. I think I'll only know that if I find other men who've noticed no ill effects.

          Anyone who has definitely had a whole body CT or CT of his groin? Without any ill effects?

          The facts and data about different kinds of radiation exposure aren't helpful because my experience is that my life changed during the time of the CT. I so want to separate mental trauma from possible physical trauma in order to know where to get help.

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          • #20
            I've had several full body CT scans in the last two years, and these include the pelvis and testicles. These had no effect on my fertility or hormone levels.

            It's not routine to shield the testicles during a CT scan.
            Firstly, the whole point of doing the scan is to see inside the body, so there's little sense in shielding an organ during the diagnostic procedure!
            Secondly, the adsorbed dose is too low to damage a single organ during a single scan. As a comparison, if one does radiation therapy for testicular cancer, the adsorbed dose is about 30 Gy (Gray and Sievert are about the same in this case), given over 30 sessions. This means 1 Gy for one session of treatment, which is a lot, so shields are used on the testicles in case some radiation scatters down to them. An abdominal CT is 10mSv = 0.01 Gy, in other words, 100 times less than the radiation treatment, so a shield is not necessary.

            I'm not sure what more I can say to convince you otherwise! You didn't receive any treatment outside the norm.

            Conor

            PS I don't mean to say "CT scans are completely safe". They are not, and shouldn't be over used, or used when a safe technique like ultrasound or MRI is available. For us TC victims, we have a much higher probability of dying from the cancer than dying from the CT radiation, so repeated CT and PET scans form part of the treatment, and their possible long term side effects are something we just have to live with.
            Conor
            22/11/2011 3cm seminoma. CT clear. bHCG 53. Stage: pT2, 1B. I/O Rx.
            27/01/2012 1 cycle adjuvant carboplatin, bHCG 0.04
            02/09/2013 Recurrence: bHCG 19.2; PET-CT show 3.8cm retrocaval lymph node
            22/11/2013 3xBEP; bHCG 0.1; CT clear; awaiting PET

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            • #21
              A quick follow up:

              http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q10723.html

              from a guy also worried by the effects of an abdominal scan:

              "Could these numbers have caused temporary infertility based on dose to the testes?
              Answer: No. The threshold (i.e., <1 percent incidence in a clinically significant decrease) for temporary infertility is ~100 mGy which would appear three to nine weeks after the exposure. The maximum dose to the testes you likely received was less than 50 mGy. "

              So note that he says (1) the dose is well below any threshold and (2) any infertility is "temporary".

              I understand that your problems started around the time you had the scan, but you can surely rule out the CT scan for causing anything - it's more likely it started with the trauma of thinking you had cancer, aided by the insecurity of the urologist, or something else completely.
              Conor
              22/11/2011 3cm seminoma. CT clear. bHCG 53. Stage: pT2, 1B. I/O Rx.
              27/01/2012 1 cycle adjuvant carboplatin, bHCG 0.04
              02/09/2013 Recurrence: bHCG 19.2; PET-CT show 3.8cm retrocaval lymph node
              22/11/2013 3xBEP; bHCG 0.1; CT clear; awaiting PET

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              • #22
                Thank you. Thank you. Exactly what I wanted to know.

                Your sexuality (erections, libido) weren't altered after the scans? Mine tanked after the experience, but I was also terrified. Was told even after the scan to keep watching the bump...ended up having a biopsy a year later to determine the scar tissue. I haven't recovered my sexuality four years later. It's a great grief for me.

                It sounds like people are having hood success with hormone therapy. Maybe I'll look into that.

                Again , thank you so much.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by sroth View Post
                  Thank you. Thank you. Exactly what I wanted to know.
                  Glad to help
                  A huge problem with TC is that men don't like to talk about it openly, because of the organ involved. Hence a lack of awareness and understanding and an awful lot of fear or even shame. I know of a guy who, diagnosed with a tumour, refused to have the orchiectomy because it would "ruin his manhood".

                  Your sexuality (erections, libido) weren't altered after the scans?
                  Well, it's impossible to say: the scans started around the time I was diagnosed with cancer and had the orchiectomy, so any problems at the beginning were surely more linked to that! Personally I wasn't affected sexually in the months after the treatment, when I was just having scans. My (total) testosterone level has always been 3.5-5 ng/mL during and after the treatment. But just a cursory read of the forums shows that many guys, especially the younger ones, are absolutely terrified of TC, of going to a urologist, of having a prostetic implant, of the chance that the cancer might come back, etc., even if they are told it's "the best cancer to have" or "xx% curable". So it's understandable that stress could play an important role for many people in lowering their libido, even if they are technically in the clear.

                  Mine tanked after the experience, but I was also terrified. Was told even after the scan to keep watching the bump...ended up having a biopsy a year later to determine the scar tissue. I haven't recovered my sexuality four years later. It's a great grief for me.
                  It sounds like you were told "yeah that might be cancerous, keep an eye on it". I think that would terrify most people!

                  Again , thank you so much.
                  Well I hope at least this thread has alleviated your anger at what you thought happened to you. Now you can move on and focus on the real source of your problems, be they psychological or physiological. Good luck!

                  Conor
                  Conor
                  22/11/2011 3cm seminoma. CT clear. bHCG 53. Stage: pT2, 1B. I/O Rx.
                  27/01/2012 1 cycle adjuvant carboplatin, bHCG 0.04
                  02/09/2013 Recurrence: bHCG 19.2; PET-CT show 3.8cm retrocaval lymph node
                  22/11/2013 3xBEP; bHCG 0.1; CT clear; awaiting PET

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    You've done more than I could have asked. I look for how to heal. Sometimes I get so pissed at the urologist for his role in continuing my terror. Engender there, though, it sounds like I'm not alone. Many people have had challenging interactions with docs.

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                    • #25
                      Anyone other people who have had their testicles directly irradiated by CT and still maintained their libido and vitality? I'm really at a loss of what's going on. Maybe it's just mental. Just hard to believe.

                      Maybe just the cumulative year-long impact of having different urologists not give me a final answer until someone finally, after more than a year, did a biopsy of the bump and found it was a scar. The emotional impact is so hard. If I know I'm okay physically, then that at least handles that piece.

                      Any recommendations for how to know if my testicles are okay. Biopsy? Fertility specialist? I really just don't know where to go with myself. It's been a four-year quandary with no answers from physicians.

                      Just at a bit of a loss. This forum is the best resource I've found.

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                      • #26
                        If you testosterone is really that low, you ought to go see an endocrinologist.
                        Young Adult Cancer Survivorship by Steve Pake
                        April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month!
                        www.stevepake.com
                        Feb 2011, Stage IIB, 4xEP, RPLND, PTSD
                        My Survivorship Thread | All of my Blogs
                        C
                        ONTACT ME ANYTIME!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Mate

                          You really need to have a chat with our doc - your testosterone levels need to be checked a few time, the doc needs to also identify other low T symptoms. Low T can be cause things and there may well be something else going on, you say that you have "stress" this may well along with other things in your body of life be impacting.

                          This page has some info on Testosterone my age and the data is presented in the 2 measurements that different countries use
                          http://www.mens-hormonal-health.com/...ne-levels.html

                          Some other info re low T here https://www.andrologyaustralia.org/r.../testosterone/

                          As above you probably need to see an endocrinologist.

                          Let the team know when you have seen the doc.
                          >>>>>>>>>
                          TC1: May 2001 / Right orchiectomy / seminoma stage 1 / Radiation
                          TC2: July 2008 / Left orchiectomy / seminoma stage 1 / X2 Prostheses / Reandron (long term Testosterone injections)

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by sroth View Post
                            Anyone other people who have had their testicles directly irradiated by CT and still maintained their libido and vitality? I'm really at a loss of what's going on. Maybe it's just mental.
                            Wow, not sure why I didn't see post this earlier.

                            Here's what most everyone else seems to not understand:YOU HAVE LOW TESTOSTERONE! That is why you lost your libido, etc. Your mind probably didn't cause this & neither did the CT scan. It's just a problem you have & you need to deal with it, probably by starting testosterone replacement therapy, but you should definitely see an endocrinologist to figure out why you are not producing enough testosterone. It does not matter one twit about the CT, even in the very unlikely event that it caused this,you cannot change that it happened, you can only move forward & find a solution to the problems you are having. That is really the only thing that is important at this point. It does not matter why you have the problem unless knowing that provides a cure. It will not likely do so in your case. So get on with the next steps & go see an endo ....

                            Dave

                            I just reread my post & am afraid it may sound a bit harsh to some.That was not my intention, I just was trying to provide a "shake up call" that looking back isn't what is needed here, it's just time to find a fix for the current problem..... Dave
                            Last edited by Davepet; 02-22-14, 11:18 PM.
                            Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
                            Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

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                            • #29
                              Have you recovered ok? Unfortunately my testicles were damaged on a ct scanner as well among other bodily functions. If you did not have any symptoms other than your worry your most likely ok and the minimal damage repaired. If you adjusted to a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly and still struggle with low T and your certain you did not have low T or mental health issues and lack of sex drive prior you may have been very sensitive to the radiation as I was. Unfortunately I had a severe reaction and have had to seek treatment for the radiation enduced testicular atrophy and low T. A man's testicles are his most sensitive organ in his body and when damaged by radiation or other injury causing reduced function can be devestating to your vitality, strength and sexual and mental health. Why drs are so casual about ct scan radiation to a man's pelvic area when the radiation dose is hundreds of times more than a single xray is unfortunate and a huge oversight by the medical feild. Mri and ultrasounds are much safer and do not expose you to large amounts of damaging ionizing radiation. Everyone else here that did not have a bad reaction to ct radiation good for you but there are others that have and the negative affects on the endocrine system devestating. Everyone's body has different sensitivity to different things. It's important that there ia more awareness of this problem that is happening to young men, who think hey a ct scan will be sure nothing is wrong however the ionizing radiation exposure to your balls can be devestating, even ct scan direct and scattered radiation doses absorbed by the testicles damaging healthy cells and reducing the testicle healthy function causing lower male hormones than what that person's normal was prior. I suffered brutally from radiation sickness after my ct scan, although rare, it happened to me and is happening to others who have been given no voice. These machines can malfunction and there are also operator errors as well. Although rare.

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