US researchers engaged in studying the risks of cancer associated with radiation exposure revealed that the victims of the atomic blasts who had survived one incidence of cancer face a potential risk of developing the deadly disease for the second time. The study was a collaborative effort by the ‘Radiation Effects Research Foundation’ and the ‘National Cancer Institute’.
The scientists made use of the information received from various Japanese nationals who had survived the atomic bomb blast. The results of exposure to other sources of radiation, including medical imaging on these victims, were studied later on.
Dr. Christopher Li, associated with the ‘Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’, led the study. He said that the risk of developing cancer for the second time on being exposed to radiation is quite similar to that of the first cancer. The results of the study have been published in the journal of ‘Cancer Research’.
The breast, lung, bladder, colon and thyroid are particularly radiation sensitive areas and, evidently, cancer survivors usually have a high risk for developing a second cancer in these areas of the body, Dr. Li added.
The study involved analyzing the data from a group of atomic holocaust survivors from Japan. They were monitored from 1950 to 2002. The results held special significance as 1,088 of the 10,031 cancer survivors went on to develop the disease for a second time.
Dr Li stated that such survivors who have a history of being exposed to radiation need to be monitored constantly. He also admitted that it was difficult to estimate the amount of radiation for World War II survivors as their entire body had been exposed to radiation, whereas, it is a limited area that receives the radiation in the course of cancer treatments or even medical imaging. He, however, believed that the findings from this study would be true for all kinds of radiation exposure known to be linked to cancer.