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

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 12 08:28:40 CDT 2007

You may have to accept that fact that they may not
want you accept ANY evidence that you present to them.
This appears to be a statistical cluster when rare
event, two technologist out of xx get breast cancer. 
Statistically, it can happen, like winning the
lottery.  But, now many times this CAN happen is rare.
 You might want to ask them how many of their friends
or relative who have not worked around radiation have
breast cancer.  They are probably both in their late
40s and early 50s, so the natural incidences of breast
cancer should be evident.  My wife made that comment
that several of her friends had breast cancer.  After
looking at the issue from the natural incidence rate,
it be came clear that this was to be expected.

I wish you luck on this.  You are dealing with
emotions that these technologists feel.  

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

> 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?
> Diane
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“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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