Tips to Help Reduce Radiation Toxicity From Cancer Scans

Written by: Lucas Tims, ND, FABNO

Medical imaging has become a central component of cancer care to ensure early and accurate diagnosis and monitoring. Unfortunately, many imaging modalities use ionizing radiation (IR) to generate images. IR even in low doses can cause direct DNA damage and generate reactive oxygen species and free radicals, leading to DNA, protein, and lipid membrane damage.

This cell damage can lead to apoptosis, necrosis, teratogenesis, or carcinogenesis. As many as 2% of cancers (and an associated 15,000 deaths annually) can be linked to CT scans alone.

Two tips I recommend to reduce the radiotoxicity of your next cancer scan:

• Take a high dose of melatonin (20 mg – 60 mg) the night before your scan. Don’t worry, these doses are safe but you may need to build up your tolerance over time as it can cause vivid dreams and next-morning grogginess.

• Schedule a high-dose vitamin C infusion as soon after the scan as possible. It’s important to wait until after as the IVC can interfere with some radiotracers and contrast agents. If you don’t have access to IVs then take up to 10g of lypospheric/Liposomal vitamin C after the scan. Watch for bowel tolerance and adjust accordingly.

These tips are extremely safe for most but you should always work with a doctor who knows your individual case for the best outcomes.



Learn more about Dr. Lucas, Board-Certified Naturopathic Oncologist [HERE]

Learn more about the cancer programs at the Riordan Clinic [HERE]