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

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 12 07:37:00 CDT 2007

I think soliciting information for other medical
facilities is not a good idea.  I would suggest citing
professional groups that have reviewed this

I would suggest-- 

Another source is the paper -- 
Shinji Yoshinaga, PhD, Kiyohiko Mabuchi, MD, DrPH,
Alice J. Sigurdson, PhD, Michele Morin Doody, MS and
Elaine Ron, PhD "Cancer Risks among Radiologists and
Radiologic Technologists: Review of Epidemiologic
Studies," Radiology 2004;233:313-321

Abstract:  Radiologists and radiologic technologists
were among the earliest occupational groups exposed to
ionizing radiation and represent a large segment of
the working population exposed to radiation from
human-made sources. The authors reviewed epidemiologic
data on cancer risks from eight cohorts of over 270
000 radiologists and technologists in various
countries. The most consistent finding was increased
mortality due to leukemia among early workers employed
before 1950, when radiation exposures were high. This,
together with an increasing risk of leukemia with
increasing duration of work in the early years,
provided evidence of an excess risk of leukemia
associated with occupational radiation exposure in
that period. While findings on several types of solid
cancers were less consistent, several studies provided
evidence of a radiation effect for breast cancer and
skin cancer. To date, there is no clear evidence of an
increased cancer risk in medical radiation workers
exposed to current levels of radiation doses. However,
given a relatively short period of time for which the
most recent workers have been followed up and in view
of the increasing uses of radiation in modern medical
practices, it is important to continue to monitor the
health status of medical radiation workers. 

(I have been doing this for many years, and will
probably continue to in the future.)

--- Diane Griffiths <dianegriffiths at comcast.net>

> I have some nurses that work in Angiography, Cardiac
> Cath, and Nuclear 
> Medicine cardiology that are convinced their jobs
> are causing Breast Cancer. 
> Out of 10 nurses that work in these areas, 2 of them
> recently were diagnosed 
> with breast cancer. I have had multiple meetings
> with them in the last 
> month, and no matter what I tell them they are still
> freaked out. I have 
> found some articles that show that the incidence of
> breast cancer from 
> working in these departments is very low. They don't
> believe the studies and 
> information I have provided them. Their average
> exposure for these nurses is 
> approximately 100 mRem per year. (Some of these
> nurses have been employed 
> since 2002)
> They asked me to check with various hospitals to see
> what percentage of 
> females working in Radiology / Nuclear Medicine are
> being diagnosed with 
> breast cancer and how long they have been working
> around radiation. Can 
> anyone help me with some information from your
> experiences that may help me 
> calm down these nurses?
> I don't want them afraid to work in these areas so I
> would appreciate any 
> information that will help them. They insist that
> the information I have 
> provided them is not real world information, thus
> them wanting me to check 
> with other hospitals.
> Diane

“We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient — that we are only 6 percent of the world’s population; that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind; that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity; and therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.”
-- John F. Kennedy 

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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