[ RadSafe ] " Radiation Roulette " -- CBC's The Passionate Eye [TV show]

Jaro jaro-10kbq at sympatico.ca
Sat Oct 8 16:30:29 CDT 2005

September 19, 2005
>From Vancouver’s Point Grey Pictures Comes
Radiation Roulette
A Cancer Victim Looks for the Cause of her Illness and Discovers the Dangers
of CT Scans, Mammograms, and X-Rays. Could tests designed to find cancer be
causing it?
Premieres October 6, 2005 on CBC TV "The Passionate Eye"

(Toronto, ON), September 19, 2005 -- Everyone knows that radiation saves
lives. What they don’t know about it could kill them. Vancouver-based Point
Grey Pictures explores the risks and benefits of medical radiation in a
thought-provoking documentary, Radiation Roulette, which premieres Thursday,
October 6 at 9pm EST.
Produced, written and directed by Terence McKeown, Radiation Roulette draws
on the personal stories of three women as well as testimony from medical
experts to make the case for a greater public awareness of the dangers of
radiation from diagnostic testing.
>From the noon sun to the plates we eat from, we are all exposed to varying
levels of radiation. Or as Kyla, a 20-year-old with thyroid cancer and the
documentary’s main subject puts it, "We live in a pool of radiation already.
I’d just prefer to stay in the shallow end."
It is Kyla’s quest to find out whether childhood x-rays may have caused her
cancer that leads viewers through the critical public health issues
surrounding the medical use of radiation. Along the way, they are introduced
to Paula, a 56- year-old who has life-threatening heart disease caused by
bizarre medical radiation treatments in 1948; and Jo-Ann, a healthy woman
who decides to have a whole-body CT screening scan – and gets a shocking
Kyla’s journey leads to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where Ron
Carter, Head of Cancer Genetics, explains the role of genetic testing in
identifying people at increased risk from radiation- induced cancers – and
orders DNA tests to determine whether Kyla is genetically sensitive. The
documentary also hears from Dr. David Brenner of Columbia University, one of
the first experts to ring alarm bells about exposure from CT scans; and Dr.
Samuel Epstein, head of the Cancer Prevention Coalition and a staunch
advocate for ending the use of mammograms in cancer diagnosis. Lastly,
Professor Doug Boreham of the Department of Medical Physics and Applied
Radiation Sciences at McMaster provides a provocative counterpoint by
proposing that a little radiation may even be good for you – even though his
father, a uranium miner, died from radiation-induced lung cancer.

About Point Grey Pictures
Point Grey Pictures Inc. was created in 2003 by Academy Award winning
executive producer/director John Zaritsky and producer/director Terence
McKeown. Radiation Roulette is McKeown’s first directorial project with the
company. He has been nominated for seven Gemini awards, twice for
producing – for Quake Hunters in 1998, and for The Parkinson’s Enigma in
2002. Together, he and John Zaritsky have created the documentaries Men Don’
t Cry: Prostate Cancer Stories, and No Kidding: The Search for the World’s
Funniest Joke, both commissioned by CBC’s Witness series, and more recently
the six-hour series College Days, College Nights for The Documentary Channel
and CBC.

Website: http://www.pointgreypictures.com


Radiation saves lives through its use in medical diagnosis and treatment,
but too much radiation can kill. A significant proportion of the population
may be genetically sensitive to radiation, and therefore much more likely to
get cancer from the low levels used in medical screening tests like
mammography and CT scanning. Researchers have now found the first genes
identified with radiation sensitivity, and are working towards genetic
testing that will tell people if they are at risk. But right now, many
people are playing Radiation Roulette with their health when they have
diagnostic tests – and no one is warning them.

The dangers of exposure to high levels of all kinds of radiation have long
been known – cancer, birth defects, neurological disorders, severe burns,
premature death. Low levels of radiation, like modern dental or chest
x-rays, have been thought to be safe. But now CT scanners, which use
multiple x-rays, have considerably increased the amount of radiation
patients receive. The use of CT for screening and diagnosis is increasing
dramatically. A single CT scan can be the equivalent of hundreds of chest
x-rays; and two or three can put the patient into the exposure range of
Japanese atomic bomb survivors who had elevated levels of cancer.

Radiation Roulette looks at the rapid expansion of CT, its benefits, and the
danger it may pose, through the stories of three women: Kyla, a 20-year-old
with thyroid cancer which may have been caused by childhood x-rays; Paula, a
56-year-old who has life-threatening heart disease caused by medical
radiation; and Jo-Ann, a healthy woman who decided to have a whole-body CT
screening scan – and got a shocking surprise.

Kyla’s quest to find out whether radiation might have caused her cancer will
lead us through the controversy over x-ray imaging, and the critical public
health issues at stake.

Ingrid Hamilton ingrid at gat.ca 416-802-2079
Julie Giles Julie Giles 416-762-5328
Photos available at ftp.gat.ca username: pix at gat.ca password: media

John Doyle, the Globe and Mail TV critic

This documentary poses the question, "Everyone knows that radiation saves
lives but what are the risks?" It's a controversial issue as questions are
being raised about the potential negative effect of everything from CT scans
and mammograms to X-rays. The main subject is Kyla, a 20-year-old who has
thyroid cancer and suspects that childhood X-rays may have caused her
cancer. The program is not meant to scare you. The point is to raise an
issue and listen to all sides. CBC, 9 p.m.

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