[ RadSafe ] Breast Cancer Risk, and working in Radiology / Nuclear Medicine

Diane Griffiths dianegriffiths at comcast.net
Fri Mar 9 21:49:47 CST 2007

Thanks y'all, you are giving me some more ideas to try and more areas to research.

I gave them an extensive training packet with their yearly training last October that explained background radiation, natural radiation, even explained that K40 in the body is radioactive. I also gave them yearly background averages, as well as medical procedure averages. Told them about biological effects, and at what exposures they occured (and said it was XX times their exposures). In addition, I told them about time, distance, shielding. (To which they made me show that the Angio suite IS shielded by placing sources in there and demonstrating the geiger counter readings). I had a few articles on breast cancer risk to Nuclear Medicine techs and some of the studies some of you mentioned. (Then they tell me last week that they have never been trained. And argued that fact with me until I showed them the sign in sheet and training packet and then they all of a sudden remembered.)

They told me they wanted specific examples of if females in other hospitals working with radiation got breast cancer. (Even though the two female Nuclear Medicine techs have had no problems and have been in the field for 24 years each). At that point I compared their exposures to the Nuc Med techs. They said that they understood what I was telling them, but they were still scared. (Then after the meeting they told the Nuclear tech that my meeting with them did not help at all.)

One nurse said it is like if two people got run over by a car on the same street and location. It is not the fact that the street is not safe, but they would be scared to cross at the same location cause they would probably get hurt at that location also. 

So what they told me they wanted was specific examples from other hospitals that less than 20% got breast cancer from working around radiation and they might feel better about it. They wanted me to call all the hospitals in town and get information on how many of the female techs got breast cancer. 

So any of you in hospitals have any female techs that got breast cancer, or didn't? Any numbers out there?


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