Radiation & Cancer

Most of the survivors of 1945 atomic bomb explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki developed leukaemia and some other cancers including those of the breast & the pancreas due to atomic radiation. Similarly, after the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, incidence of thyroid cancer increased 100 times among the children residing in the most exposed areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Studies have revealed that the radioactive waves emitted by atomic explosions have significant carcinogenic effect.

People living near nuclear power plants may get exposed to certain radioactive gases, which are highly carcinogenic. A study conducted by Steve Wing, an epidemiologist, at the University of North Carolina on 8000 men working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where uranium is processed, has shown that the workers exposed to nuclear radiation have much higher incidence of leukaemia and cancers of the lung & the stomach. Another study has revealed that the children living near nuclear installations are having a much higher incidence of leukaemia. It has been reported that the four out of the sixteen most industrialised countries had a much lower incidence of the breast cancer during 1971 to 1986 as compared to the remaining twelve countries because these four countries (New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Israel) did not possess large nuclear reactors during that period.
In the USA, approximately 33 per cent of the total population is exposed to nuclear radiation as 1321 out of the total 3053 counties in the USA have nuclear facilities. The residents of nuclear counties have a much higher incidence of the breast cancer due to exposure to by-products of nuclear fission such as radioactive iodine and strontium. The major carriers of fission by-products are water, air and the dairy products. The radiation emitted by nuclear fission by-products work synergistically with other environmental carcinogens such as air pollutants, diesel fumes, asbestos, cigarette smoke and pesticides. Studies have shown that there is a much higher incidence of cancer in those persons, who consume food items contaminated with radioactive releases from the nuclear power plants.

The ionising radiations including X-rays, gamma rays and particle radiation emitted by radioactive substances produce highly reactive ions in the exposed cells that may lead to mutations in the genes by rupturing the DNA strands. Studies have shown that exposure to even low levels of ionising radiation may cause cancer. In earlier days, many radiologists developed the thyroid tumour and leukaemia because they were not protected from the X-rays. Research done by Ernest Sternglass, professor of Radiation Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, has confirmed that low levels of radiation emitted by X-rays, background radioactivity and nuclear reactor fallout may cause cancer.

Solar radiation, particularly ultraviolet B and ultraviolet C, induce permanent mutation in the tumour suppressor gene known as p53 gene that leads to genesis of the skin cancer. The exposure to ultraviolet radiation is increasing day-by-day due to expanding ozone hole in the earth’s upper atmosphere. The people having darker complexion are protected from the ultraviolet radiation due to higher content of a pigment called melanin in their skin. Caucasians of Australia are the worst affected people by ultraviolet radiation because they are over exposed to the sunlight and have the least content of melanin in their skin.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by man-made technological devices such as electric motors, food mixers, hair dryers, heaters, electric shavers, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, televisions, computers, video terminals and cell phones, emit 30 to 100 times higher electromagnetic fields than the permissible limits, which can cause cancer by activating the oncogenes. Ordinary home appliances generate larger cumulative electromagnetic effect of radiation due to proximity of the user. The EMFs generated by these appliances usually drop off considerably at a distance of about 16 feet. The EMFs promote growth of tumour by affecting certain enzymes, which are related to growth regulation, gene expression and pineal gland metabolism. Studies have revealed that the prolonged exposure to electromagnetic fields may lead to the brain tumours and leukaemia by activating oncogenes.

Research done in 1979 by Dr. Nancy Wertheimer, an epidemiologist, at the University of Colorado has revealed that there is five times higher incidence of cancer in those children, who are exposed to the electromagnetic fields generated by electric power lines running along the city streets. Another study conducted by the New York State Department of Health in 1987, confirmed Dr. Nancy Wertheimer’s findings and further added that exposure to the electromagnetic fields inhibits production of a neurohormone, called melatonin, which possesses antioxidant, immune enhancing and anticancer properties. The National Council on Radiation Protection has reported that the deficiency of melatonin may lead to genesis of cancer. According to David A. Savitz of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, the children living near high-tension power lines have threefold higher incidence of the brain tumours and the leukaemia. Research done at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Centre in Loma Linda, California has shown that the electromagnetic fields promote growth of cancer by enhancing activity of an enzyme, known as ornithine decarboxylase.

The occupants of homes situated above geological fractures and subterranean water veins are exposed to excessive magnetic radiation from the earth, known as geopathic stress, which may lead to genesis of cancer. Study conducted by the U.S. government has reported that geopathic stress plays a major role in genesis of the human cancer.

Dr. S.P. Kaushal
Sino Vedic Cancer Clinic

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