Episode 41. Radiation Exposure Linked To Aggressive Thyroid Cancers

Chapter 11. Bop Shaplen’s thyroid cancer did not cause his death but a high dose of radiation killed him.

Episode 41. Radiation Exposure Linked To Aggressive Thyroid Cancers

  1. Evidence and analysis.
  2. Radiation Exposure Linked To Aggressive Thyroid Cancers.

“For the first time, researchers have found that exposure to radioactive iodine is associated with more aggressive forms of thyroid cancer

…Our group has previously shown that exposures to radioactive iodine significantly increase the risk of thyroid cancer in a dose-dependent manner. ” (Text 1).

““Those exposed as children or adolescents to the fallout are at highest risk and should probably be screened for thyroid cancer regularly, because these cancers are aggressive, and they can spread really fast,” Zablotska said. “Clinicia should be aware of the aggressiveness of radiation-associated tumors and closely monitor those at high risk.”” (Text 1).

“Thyroid cancer is ordinarily rare among children, with less than one new case per million diagnosed each year. Among adults, about 13 new cases will be diagnosed each year for every 100,000 people, according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Ititute (NCI). But in the Belarus cohort, the researchers diagnosed 158 thyroid cancers among 11,664 subjects during three rounds of screening. Those who had received higher radiation doses also were more likely to have solid or diffuse variants of thyroid cancer, as well as to have more aggressive tumor features, such as spread to lymphatic vessels and several simultaneous cancer lesio in the thyroid gland” (Text 1).

Nearly 25 years after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, exposure to radioactive iodine-131(I-131, a radioactive isotope) from fallout may be respoible for thyroid cancers that are still occurring among people who lived in the Chernobyl area and were children or adolescents at the time of the accident, researchers say.

An international team of researchers led by the National Cancer Ititute (NCI), part of the National Ititutes of Health found a clear dose-respoe relatiohip, in which higher absorption of radiation from I-131 led to an increased risk for thyroid cancer that has not seemed to diminish over time.” (Text 2).

A large increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer has occurred among people who were young children and adolescents at the time of the accident and lived in the most contaminated areas of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. This was due to the high levels of radioactive iodine released from the Chernobyl reactor in the early days after the accident. Radioactive iodine was deposited in pastures eaten by cows who then concentrated it in their milk which was subsequently drunk by children. This was further exacerbated by a general iodine deficiency in the local diet causing more of the radioactive iodine to be accumulated in the thyroid. ” (Text 3).

…According to a report by Prof Rosalie Bertell MD, the first serious concer were only aired in 1999:

‘In 1991 there was widespread concern in Ukraine about 150,000 people, including 60,000 children exposed to high levels of radiation to the thyroid gland [2000 mSv for children and 5000 mSv for adults]. This problem was not discussed or admitted internationally until the release of a paper in 1999 by the British Journal Nature and the World Health Organization [WHO] call for help to aid child thyroid cancer victims.’

…Fukushima — significant increases of human cancer cases

In a 2012 report by Russia Today, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management , tells of a shock rise in young children at risk of thyroid cancer:

    ‘The shocking new report shows that nearly 36 per cent of children in the nuclear disaster-affected Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths. This is an extremely large number of abnormalities – some of which, experts say, pose a risk of becoming cancerous. After examining more than 38,000 children from the area, medics found that more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 mms on their thyroids, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management states.” (Text 4).

. Specifically, the rate of thyroid cancer in adolescents aged 15 to 18 is also now three times higher than it was before the 1986 disaster took place.” (Text 6).

  1. People over 40 are at less risk.

When thyroid cells absorb too much radioactive iodine — either through the air or through contaminated food — it can increase the risk for thyroid cancer, says the American Thyroid Association. Babies and young children are at highest risk as their thyroid glands are most radiation-seitive. People over 40 are at less risk.” (Text 5).

  1. Documents used for research.

(Text 1).

Radiation Exposure Linked To Aggressive Thyroid Cancers

International Team Studied Children and Tee Exposed After Chernobyl

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/10/120011/radiation-exposure-linked-aggressive-thyroid-cancers

For the first time, researchers have found that exposure to radioactive iodine is associated with more aggressive forms of thyroid cancer, according to a careful study of nearly 12,000 people in Belarus who were exposed when they were children or adolescents to fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.

Researchers examined thyroid cancers diagnosed up to two decades after the Chernobyl accident and found that higher thyroid radiation doses estimated from measurements taken shortly after the accident were associated with more aggressive tumor features.

“Our group has previously shown that exposures to radioactive iodine significantly increase the risk of thyroid cancer in a dose-dependent manner. The new study shows that radiation exposures are also associated with distinct clinical features that are more aggressive,” said the paper’s first author, Lydia Zablotska, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UC San Francisco (UCSF). The paper will be published online Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the journal Cancer.

Zablotska said the findings have implicatio for those exposed to radioactive iodine fallout from the 2011 nuclear reactor incidents in Fukushima, Japan, after the reactors were damaged by an earthquake-induced tsunami.

“Those exposed as children or adolescents to the fallout are at highest risk and should probably be screened for thyroid cancer regularly, because these cancers are aggressive, and they can spread really fast,” Zablotska said. “Clinicia should be aware of the aggressiveness of radiation-associated tumors and closely monitor those at high risk.”

Chernobyl studies led by Zablotska also showed for the first time that exposures to the radioactive iodine after the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident are associated with a whole spectrum of thyroid diseases, from benign to malignant. Benign encapsulated tumors of the thyroid gland are called follicular adenomas, and are treated in the same way as thyroid cancer—by removing the thyroid gland, then giving patients pills to replace the hormones that are lost. Lifelong hormone supplementation treatment is both costly and complicated for patients.

Thyroid cancer is ordinarily rare among children, with less than one new case per million diagnosed each year. Among adults, about 13 new cases will be diagnosed each year for every 100,000 people, according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Ititute (NCI). But in the Belarus cohort, the researchers diagnosed 158 thyroid cancers among 11,664 subjects during three rounds of screening. Those who had received higher radiation doses also were more likely to have solid or diffuse variants of thyroid cancer, as well as to have more aggressive tumor features, such as spread to lymphatic vessels and several simultaneous cancer lesio in the thyroid gland.

Other authors of the study include Eldar Nadyrov, MD, Alexander Rozhko, MD, Olga Polyakaya, MD, Vassilina Yauseyenka, MS, Irina Savasteeva, MD, and Sergey Nikonovich, MD, of the Republican Research Center for Radiation Medicine and Human Ecology in Belarus; Zhihong Gong, PhD, of the Roswell Park Cancer Ititute; Robert McConnell, MD, of Columbia University; Patrick O’Kane, MD, of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; Alina Brenner, MD, PhD, Mark P. Little, PhD, Evgenia Ostroumova, MD, Andre Bouville, PhD, Vladimir Drozdovitch, PhD, Kiyohiko Mabuchi, MD, DrPH, and Maureen Hatch, PhD, of the NCI; Viktor Minenko, PhD, of the Research Ititute for Nuclear Problems in Belarus; and Yuri Demidchik, MD, and Alexander Nerovnya, MD, of the Belarusian Medical Academy of Post-Graduate Education in Belarus.

UCSF is the nation’s leading university exclusively focused on health. Now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as a medical college, UCSF is dedicated to traforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professio, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.


(Text 2).

Higher cancer risk continues after Chernobyl;

Posted: March 17, 2011

http://www.cancer.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/ChernobylRadiation

    Nearly 25 years after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, exposure to radioactive iodine-131(I-131, a radioactive isotope) from fallout may be respoible for thyroid cancers that are still occurring among people who lived in the Chernobyl area and were children or adolescents at the time of the accident, researchers say.

An international team of researchers led by the National Cancer Ititute (NCI), part of the National Ititutes of Health found a clear dose-respoe relatiohip, in which higher absorption of radiation from I-131 led to an increased risk for thyroid cancer that has not seemed to diminish over time.

The study, which represents the first prospective examination of thyroid cancer risk in relation to the I-131 doses received by Chernobyl-area children and adolescents, appeared March 17, 2011, in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

“This study is different from previous Chernobyl efforts in a number of important ways. First, we based radiation doses from I-131 on measurements of radioactivity in each individual’s thyroid within two months of the accident,” explained study author Alina Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., from NCI’s Radiation Epidemiology Branch.  “Second, we identified thyroid cancers using standardized examination methods. Everyone in the cohort was screened, irrespective of dose.”

The study included over 12,500 participants who were under 18 years of age at the time of the Chernobyl accident on April 26, 1986, and lived in one of three Ukrainian oblasts, or provinces, near the accident site: Chernigov, Zhytomyr, and Kiev.  Thyroid radioactivity levels were measured for each participant within two months of the accident, and were used to estimate each individual’s I-131 dose.  The participants were screened for thyroid cancer up to four times over 10 years, with the first screening occurring 12 to 14 years after the accident.

Standard screenings included feeling for growths in the thyroid glands and an ultrasonographic examination (a procedure that uses sound waves to image the thyroid gland within the body), and an independent clinical examination and thyroid exam by an endocrinologist. Participants were asked to complete a series of questionnaires including items specifically relevant to thyroid dose estimation. These items included residential history, milk coumption, and whether they were given preventive doses of non-radioactive iodine in the two months following the accident, to help lessen the amount of radioactive iodine that would be absorbed by the thyroid. Participants with a suspected thyroid cancer were referred for a biopsy to collect potentially cancerous cells for microscopic examination. If warranted, participants were also referred for surgery. In total, 65 of the study participants were diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

(Text 3).

Health effects of the Chernobyl accident: an overview

April 2006

http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/backgrounder/en/

Background

On 26 April 1986, explosio at reactor number four of the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in Ukraine, a Republic of the former Soviet Union at that time, led to huge releases of radioactive materials into the atmosphere.

…Thyroid cancer

A large increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer has occurred among people who were young children and adolescents at the time of the accident and lived in the most contaminated areas of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. This was due to the high levels of radioactive iodine released from the Chernobyl reactor in the early days after the accident. Radioactive iodine was deposited in pastures eaten by cows who then concentrated it in their milk which was subsequently drunk by children. This was further exacerbated by a general iodine deficiency in the local diet causing more of the radioactive iodine to be accumulated in the thyroid. Since radioactive iodine is short lived, if people had stopped giving locally supplied contaminated milk to children for a few months following the accident, it is likely that most of the increase in radiation-induced thyroid cancer would not have resulted.

In Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine nearly 5 000 cases of thyroid cancer have now been diagnosed to date among children who were aged up to 18 years at the time of the accident. While a large number of these cancers resulted from radiation following the accident, intee medical monitoring for thyroid disease among the affected population has also resulted in the detection of thyroid cancers at a sub-clinical level, and so contributed to the overall increase in thyroid cancer numbers. Fortunately, even in children with advanced tumours, treatment has been highly effective and the general prognosis for young patients is good. However, they will need to take drugs for the rest of their lives to replace the loss of thyroid function. Further, there needs to be more study to evaluate the prognosis for children, especially those with distant metastases. It is expected that the increased incidence of thyroid cancer from Chernobyl will continue for many years, although the long-term magnitude of the risk is difficult to quantify.

(Text 4).

Fukushima cancer spike and nuclear industry denial

Graham Bates

5 December 2013, 4:30pm 13

https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/fukushima-cancer-spike-and-nuclear-industry-denial,5960

There’s been a spike of thyroid cancer cases in the Fukushima, like there was in Chernobyl after its nuclear disaster. And like Chernobyl, writes Capt. Graham Bates, the nuclear industry is trying to deny the events are related.

….Human cancer caused by normally operating NPPs

…According to a report by Prof Rosalie Bertell MD, the first serious concer were only aired in 1999:

    ‘In 1991 there was widespread concern in Ukraine about 150,000 people, including 60,000 children exposed to high levels of radiation to the thyroid gland [2000 mSv for children and 5000 mSv for adults]. This problem was not discussed or admitted internationally until the release of a paper in 1999 by the British Journal Nature and the World Health Organization [WHO] call for help to aid child thyroid cancer victims.’

…Fukushima — significant increases of human cancer cases

In a 2012 report by Russia Today, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management , tells of a shock rise in young children at risk of thyroid cancer:

    ‘The shocking new report shows that nearly 36 per cent of children in the nuclear disaster-affected Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths. This is an extremely large number of abnormalities – some of which, experts say, pose a risk of becoming cancerous. After examining more than 38,000 children from the area, medics found that more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 mms on their thyroids, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management states.

(Text 5).

Cancer

Radiation Exposure: Fast Facts About Thyroid Cancer and Other Health Risks

By Hans Villarica March 14, 2011

Radiation Exposure: Fast Facts About Thyroid Cancer and Other Health Risks

…Is there risk for cancer?

When thyroid cells absorb too much radioactive iodine — either through the air or through contaminated food — it can increase the risk for thyroid cancer, says the American Thyroid Association. Babies and young children are at highest risk as their thyroid glands are most radiation-seitive. People over 40 are at less risk.

The massive explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 caused an epidemic of thyroid cancer and increases in leukemia rates. By comparison, the partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979, which released about one million times less radiation, according to the New York Times, did not appear to impact cancer rates even decades later.

The radiation release in Japan appears to be much closer to that of the Three Mile Island incident than Chernobyl.

(Text 6).

Chernobyl’s Continuing Thyroid Impact

The 1986 nuclear accident and its continuing impact on thyroid disease

Updated December 15, 2003.

http://thyroid.about.com/cs/nuclearexposure/a/chernob.htm

…One of the continuing health effects of the Chernobyl accident has been the dramatic increase in thyroid cancer among children in the affected area.

According to the World Health Organization, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster will cause 50,000 new cases of thyroid cancer among young people living in the areas most affected by the nuclear disaster. Specifically, the rate of thyroid cancer in adolescents aged 15 to 18 is also now three times higher than it was before the 1986 disaster took place. The incidence of thyroid cancer in children rose 10-fold in children who lived in the Ukraine region.

The most dramatic rate increase is in children who were 10 or younger when the Chernobyl accident occurred, and most specifically, those who were under 4. Researchers have found that in certain parts of Belarus, 36.4 per cent of children who were under four when the accident occurred can expect to develop thyroid cancer. This rate is higher than earlier estimated, and is far above the rates for those exposed to radiation in other parts of the world. Researchers believe this high rate may be due to iodine deficiency in that geographic region…

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