A Guide To Radiation-Induced Cancer
Prolonged exposure to radiation can increase the chance of developing cancer. In fact, about 10% of invasive cancers are caused by radiation exposure. Radiation, as you probably know by now, is present everywhere. However, small energy levels of radiation will not affect you. Higher radiation levels, on the other hand, are dangerous.
How You Can Expose Yourself to Radiation
Are you highly exposed to radiation? Perhaps, you are and you just don’t know about it. Let’s take a look at the common causes of radiation exposure.
According to International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommendations, workers are allowed to be exposed to 20x more radiation dose than normal. When there’s an emergency, they can be exposed to an even higher dose. Because it’s highly risky to work with machines and elements that emit high amounts of radiation, the United Energy Workers Healthcare provides financial assistance to those who are beneficiaries of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).
Many medical equipment including radiographs and medical treatments like radiotherapy can expose your body to a high radiation dose. It is said that 0.4% cancer patients in the US got their illness from these pieces of equipment and treatments. Usually, doctors use them to treat cancer. However, overusing them can worsen your illness, or worse, produce another disease.
You’ve probably heard about the 1986 Chernobyl incident, the worst nuclear disaster in the world up until now. It’s so massive that Europe had to relocate more than 220,000 people. Then there’s the Fukushima Daiichi incident in 2011. An earthquake damaged a nuclear power plant, causing damage to the surrounding area. Nuclear accidents such as these always have dramatic consequences. If you are within the 20-30 km zone of the nuclear disaster, then you risk being exposed to high levels of radiation.
Your gadgets emit radiation. Soil have radiation. Even the air we breathe and the water we drink can have radiation. However, these are not dangerous. Radon, on the other hand, can be critical to your health. Radon gas may accumulate in confined areas. Upon exposure, you are prone to lung cancer.
Types of Cancer Caused by Radiation
Several studies found that radiation can cause several types of cancer, depending on how exposed a person is and which part of the body has been exposed to radiation. These are the most common cancers caused by radiation:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Skin cancer
The bigger your exposure to radiation is, the higher the risk of cancer. While there are safety precautions that you can follow to avoid exposure, there’s no foolproof way for you to avoid radiation. Some cancers can appear soon after the radiation exposure. Others may take years to develop.
Cancer is a grave effect of radiation. Thus, if you are not working in a power plant, it’s best that you keep your distance from places with high levels of radiation.