Sunday Nov 23, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study published
in the Dec 2008 issue of
Research and Treatment suggests that early exposure to x-ray may be a risk
factor for breast cancer in BRCA1 carriers.
The study found women with a BRCA mutation ever receiving
a chest x-ray before age 30 were at an 80 percent increased risk of breast
cancer compared to those with the mutation.
Gronwald J and colleagues of International Hereditary
Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland examined if
there is an adverse effect of early chest x-rays on breast cancer risk in women
with breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 or BRCA1.
For the study, they compared the histories of chest x-ray
exposure before age 30 in 138 BRCA1 positive women with breast cancer and 158
age-matched women with the disease, but without a BRCA mutation.
The researchers found that breast cancer patients with
BRCA1 reported more frequent chest x-ray use before age 20 than those without
the risky gene mutation, 0.6 versus 0.3.
On average, women with BRCA1 had 1.8 chest x-rays before
age 30 compared to 1.0 for the women without the gene variant.
In other words, among the breast cancer patients, women
with BRCA1 were 80 percent more likely to contract the disease than those who
were not affected by the gene.
The authors of the study concluded "These
observations support the hypothesis that early radiation exposure may be a risk
factor for breast cancer in BRCA1 carriers."
X-ray used in medical diagnostic tools and radiotherapy
are known to cause cancer.
the most extensively studied human carcinogen while doctors always down play
the risk by simply saying the risk is minimal or even no risk or its benefits
overweigh its risks.
John Gofman, a distinguished nuclear physician, MD and
PHD once said that as high as 75 percent of breast cancer patients have ever
exposed to x-ray.
The US government admits that exposure to x-ray before
age 2 increases cancer risk by 7 to 10 folds and between 2 and 10 by 2 to 3
folds. Adults are less susceptible for x-ray damage.
Breast cancer, which is largely preventable, is diagnosed
in about 185,000 women and kills about 45,000 women each year in the United
One in every eight women is
expected to acquire the life-threatening disease in their lifetime.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2008 Dec;112(3):581-584.
Early radiation exposures and BRCA1-associated breast
cancer in young women from Poland.
Gronwald J, Pijpe A, Byrski T, Huzarski T, Stawicka M,
Cybulski C, van Leeuwen F, Lubiński J, Narod SA.
Department of Genetics and Pathology, International
Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.
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