Radiation makes Mars mission unlikely USA Today, Todd Halvorson, Florida Today September 22, 2013 NASA would have to knowingly expose astronauts to possibly lethal levels of space radiation. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An American expedition to Mars is the Holy Grail of U.S. human spaceflight, but more than a half-century after the dawn of the Space Age, the reality is this: NASA is “no-go,” at least for now.
To send an expedition to Mars today, NASA would have to knowingly expose astronauts to cancerous, or even lethal, levels of space radiation. It’s an ethical quandary for those involved in NASA’s renewed push toward deep-space exploration. And it’s being explored by some of the most distinguished scholars, scientists, engineers, health professionals and ethicists in the nation.
It’s “the elephant in the room,” NASA Chief Astronaut Robert Behnken recently told a National Academy of Sciences committee.
“We’re talking about a lot of ionizing radiation, almost a guarantee for cancer, and you are really close to the edge of the range for lethal exposure,” Continue reading
Exposing young girls to ionizing radiation can raise risk of breast cancer later in life http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130912/Exposing-young-girls-to-ionizing-radiation-can-raise-risk-of-breast-cancer-later-in-life.aspx 12 Sept 13, Exposing young women and girls under the age of 20 to ionizing radiation can substantially raise the risk of their developing breast cancer later in life. Scientists may now know why. A collaborative study, in which Berkeley Lab researchers played a pivotal role, points to increased stem cell self-renewal and subsequent mammary stem cell enrichment as the culprits. Breasts enriched with mammary stem cells as a result of ionizing irradiation during puberty show a later-in-life propensity for developing ER negative tumors – cells that do not have the estrogen receptor. Estrogen receptors – proteins activated by the estrogen hormone – are critical to the normal development of the breast and other female sexual characteristics during puberty.
“Our results are in agreement with epidemiology studies showing that radiation-induced human breast cancers are more likely to be ER negative than are spontaneous breast cancers,” says Sylvain Costes, a biophysicist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). “This is important because ER negative breast cancers are less differentiated, more aggressive, and often have a poor prognosis compared to the other breast cancer subtypes.” Continue reading
Space radiation concerns holding back female astronauts, they say NBC News, Miriam Kramer, 31 Aug 13, “……….Depending on when you fly a space mission, a female will fly only 45 to 50 percent of the missions that a male can fly,” Peggy Whitson, the former chief of NASA’s Astronaut Corps, said. “That’s a pretty confining limit in terms of opportunity. I know that they are scaling the risk to be the same, but the opportunities end up causing gender discrimination based on just the total number of options available for females to fly. (That’s) my perspective.” [Radiation Threat for Mars-Bound Astronauts (Video)]……..
“I think that the current standards are too confining for exposure limits based on my personal experience and because I think it limits careers more than it is necessary,” Whitson said during an Institute of Medicine Workshop on Ethics Principles and Guidelines for Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Class Spaceflights requested by NASA on July 25.
“In my case, if I had a Y chromosome, I would be qualified,” Whitson added. “Because I have two X’s, I’m not.”…. http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space-radiation-concerns-holding-back-female-astronauts-8C11043076
Cancer risk found higher in women exposed to low-dose ionizing radiation than men, Healio.com, Lawler PR. Am J Cardiol. 2013;doi:10/1016/j.amjcard.2013.07.009. August 29, 2013 Women exposed to low-dose ionizing radiation after an acute MI were more susceptible to cancer than men, according to new study data. Patrick R. Lawler, MD, of McGill University Health Center and the Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, and colleagues previously found a linkage between the low-dose ionizing radiation from cardiac imaging and therapeutic procedures and an increased risk for cancer. They sought to further this linkage by identifying the specific risks for women and younger patients……..
after adjusting for age and noncardiac radiation, women were more likely to develop cancer for each mSv of exposure (HR=1.005; 95% CI, 1.002-1.008) than men (HR=1.002; 95% CI, 1.001-1.004; P=.014). Women were more likely to have cancer of the thorax, whereas hematologic cancer rates were higher in men.
The increased incidence of cancer found in women “may relate to relatively smaller body sizes for the same amount of radiation,” the researchers wrote.
Despite these findings, the researchers noted that the RRs for cancer incidence were small.
“We and others have shown that [low-dose radiation ionizing radiation] incurred after MI is primarily comprised of therapeutic procedures with known clinical benefit,” the researchers wrote. “Indeed, the benefits of many medical procedures likely outweigh the potential risks, and clinicians should be very wary of deferring useful interventions for the fear of [low-dose radiation ionizing radiation] risk, doing so only when procedures are truly unnecessary or when alternative non-[low-dose radiation ionizing radiation]-emitting technology is available.”http://www.healio.com/cardiology/intervention/news/online/%7Ba76cf3db-a740-44e5-af92-c68086348df5%7D/cancer-risk-found-higher-in-women-exposed-to-low-dose-ionizing-radiation-than-men
The exposure limits for women are about 20 percent lower compared to men “largely due to additional cancer risk for woman from breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers,
Female Astronauts Face Discrimination from Space Radiation Concerns, Astronauts Say, Space.com by Miriam Kramer, Staff Writer | August 27, 2013 Female astronauts have fewer opportunities to fly in space than men partially because of strict lifetime radiation exposure restrictions, astronauts say.
Both male and female astronauts are not allowed to accumulate a radiation dose that would increase their lifetime risk of developing fatal cancer by more than 3 percent. A six-month mission on the International Space Station exposes astronauts to about 40 times the average yearly dose of background radiation that a person would receive living on Earth, NASA spokesman William Jeffs said in an email.
While the level of risk allowed for both men and women in space is the same, women have a lower threshold for space radiation exposure than men, according to physiological models used by NASA. “Depending on when you fly a space mission, a female will fly only 45 to 50 percent of the missions that a male can fly,” Peggy Whitson, the former chief of NASA’s Astronaut Corps, said. “That’s a pretty confining limit in terms of opportunity. I know that they are scaling the risk to be the same, but the opportunities end up causing gender discrimination based on just the total number of options available for females to fly. [That’s] my perspective.” [Radiation Threat for Mars-Bound Astronauts (Video)]
NASA follows radiation exposure recommendations established by the National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements. The exposure limits for women are about 20 percent lower compared to men “largely due to additional cancer risk for woman from breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers,” Jeffs told SPACE.com……..
“Depending on when you fly a space mission, a female will fly only 45 to 50 percent of the missions that a male can fly,” Peggy Whitson, the former chief of NASA’s Astronaut Corps, said. “That’s a pretty confining limit in terms of opportunity. I know that they are scaling the risk to be the same, but the opportunities end up causing gender discrimination based on just the total number of options available for females to fly. [That’s] my perspective.” [Radiation Threat for Mars-Bound Astronauts (Video)]
NASA follows radiation exposure recommendations established by the National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements. The exposure limits for women are about 20 percent lower compared to men “largely due to additional cancer risk for woman from breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers,” Jeffs told SPACE.com…… http://www.space.com/22252-women-astronauts-radiation-risk.html
“Worrisome” spike in deadly birth defects around leaking U.S. nuclear site — Officials claim “it could be a complete coincidence” — No news reports mention it’s by the most contaminated area in Western Hemisphere #Hanford http://enenews.com/worrisome-spike-in-deadly-birth-defect-around-leaking-u-s-nuclear-site-officials-claim-it-could-be-a-complete-coincidence-all-media-reports-fail-to-mention-its-nearby-most-contaminate
Title: Washington State Health Officials Stumped by High Rate of Birth Defects
Source: ABC News with Diane Sawyer
Author: Gillian Mohney
Date: July 18, 2013
high rate of birth defects has confounded Washington health officials, who have been unable to identify a cause.
The Hanford nuclear site is located near Richland, WA, between Benton and Franklin counties (White Arrow)
A report released Tuesday by the Washington State Department of Health said that, since 2010, the neighboring counties of Yakima, Benton and Franklin have an unusually high number pregnancies affected by the [neural tube] birth defect anencephaly, which results in a newborns’ brains being severely underdeveloped. Continue reading
Can Older Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients Skip Radiation? Medscape Today, Kate Johnson May 22, 2013 There is no benefit in adding radiation to tamoxifen therapy in women aged 70 years or older after lumpectomy for early-stage breast cancer, according to extended, long-term results of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 9343 trial.
“Irradiation adds no significant benefit in terms of survival, time to distant metastasis, or ultimate breast preservation,” noted author Kevin Hughes, MD, from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues in an article published online ahead of print in theJournal of Clinical Oncology.
Median follow-up for the trial is now 12.6 years, and the 10-year results back up the trial’s previous 5-year data.
As previously reported by Medscape Medical News, those results prompted the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to adjust its treatment guidelines, so that it no longer recommends radiation therapy after lumpectomy in older women with estrogen receptor (ER)–positive early breast cancer who are receiving endocrine therapy.
However, despite this, the authors note that their initial findings had “little impact” on clinical practice, “with the use of irradiation only slightly diminishing in this population.”…. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/804584
New 3-D Mammography is Basically a CT Scan for Breasts
The procedures give women twice as much radiation as a standard mammogram
New 3D Mammography Significantly Increases Radiation Exposure, and Your Risk of Radiation-Induced Cancer Mercola.com February 19, 2013 By Dr. Mercola
Breast cancer is big business, and mammography is one of its primary profit centers. This is why the industry is fighting tooth and nail to keep it, by downplaying or outright ignoring its significant risks.
In the US, women are still urged to get an annual mammogram starting at the age of 40, completely ignoring the updated guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009.
Unfortunately, many women are completely unaware that the science simply does not back up the use of routine mammograms as a means to prevent breast cancer death.
As was revealed in a 2011 meta-analysis by the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, mammography breast cancer screening led to 30 percent overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which equates to an absolute risk increase of 0.5 percent.
There’s also the risk of getting a false negative, meaning that a life-threatening cancer is missed. Continue reading
This is a very important research finding. For decades, women have been fed stories on how breast cancer is probably genetically caused. Each women is advised to look into the cancer background of her family. OK. Still a good idea.
So the cancer is supposed to be initiated from inside us. But how about environmental causes? How about the chemical bath in which we all swim? In food additives, in chemical sprays on fruit and vegetables. And how about ionising radiation – some from (often necessary) medical radiation, some from uranium, nuclear facilities, and atomic bomb testing.
We’re always being urged to donate to breast cancer research. How about some research into environmental causes of breast cancer?
Genetics not a factor in three-quarters of breast cancer cases Herald Sun, Susie O’Brien, 16 Feb 13, FAMILY history plays no role in breast cancer in three out of four women, a shock new Victorian survey has revealed.
Analysis of the breast screens of almost 20,000 women over two decades shows 72 per cent of women who got breast cancer had no family history of the disease.
The findings contradict the popular belief that genetics plays a key role in determining which one in nine women will get breast cancer….. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/genetics-not-a-factor-in-three-quarters-of-breast-cancer-cases/story-e6frf7kx-1226579439609
Standard for “acceptable” radiation needs to be changed: it discriminates against women and children
The standard still used for “allowable” and “legal” radiation
doses is a chauvinistic and alarmingly dangerous method of calculating
The standard is called “reference man.” Created by the International
Commission on Radiological Protection in 1975, it defines humanity as
a 5-foot-7-inch, 154-pound “Caucasian” male, 20-to-30 years old, who
is “Western European or North American in habitat and custom.” Of
course, this set represents neither the most vulnerable population nor
the average person.
Women & Children First! (to be Harmed by Radiation)
JANUARY 30, 2013
“Reference Man” Risk Model Lambasted as Obsolete,
Unscientific by JOHN LaFORGE
“Woman and children first” is redefined in the nuclear age, now that
science has shown that they are far more susceptible to the ravages of
radiation than men and boys. Continue reading
6 Yankee protesters convicted of trespassing http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/6-women-go-on-trial-for-nuclear-protest-4068991.php , November 27, 2012 BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — A jury has found six Massachusetts women guilty of trespassing at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant last year to protest the continued operation of the reactor.
Police say the women, all members of the Shut It Down Affinity Group, traveled to the nuclear plant’s gate in Vernon on Aug. 30, 2011, used a chain and padlock to lock the entrance gate and chained themselves to the fence, while officials were busy with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.
It’s one of about 22 protests the group has mounted against the reactor’s continued operation in recent years.
In court, the woman, who range in age from 69 to 93, represented themselves and raised concerns about the ecological and health effects of the facility.
Filmmaker: Hope is hard to come by in Fukushima — To this day women having abortions for fear of genetic damage, families breaking up http://enenews.com/fukushima-filmmaker-to-this-day-women-having-abortions-for-fear-of-genetic-damage
November 6th, 2012 Title: Production Notes
Source: ‘Women of Fukushima’ website
The full ramifications of the aftermath of the disaster that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 will take decades to unfold. Having shifted from the initial visceral drama to a more long-term, almost invisible threat, there is a real risk that the situations faced by residents of Fukushima Prefecture will simply vanish from the radar screens of the world’s media (or, in the case of Japanese media, remain non-existent). To this day, as a result of the meltdowns, children can’t play outside, families are breaking up, and women are even having abortions for fear of genetic damage to their unborn children. Hope is hard to come by in Fukushima.
However, after meeting a group of outspoken local women, we were compelled to capture their spirit and stories. […]
One month after the explosion, Kazue Morizono of Koriyama, fell sick with symptoms of vomiting, cold sores, diarrhea and joint pain. She was bedridden for months, but upon recovery she was out in full force, speaking up at public meetings and making heartfelt appeals to government and electric company officials— all of which fell on deaf ears. Vibrant, compassionate, angry and hurt, Morizono, like all of the Women of Fukushima, bears the burden of keeping the children safe.
“The government is 80-90% men and they are making all the decisions. It’s time for them to become enlightened to the fact that they are wrong. I want them to listen to us women; the women need to speak up, I feel that very strongly.”
The 1960s and ’70s increase is attributed in the study to the global dispersal of radioactive atoms from atmospheric atomic bomb tests. The tests lofted radioactive atoms high into the atmosphere, where air currents caught the atoms and then dispersed them around the planet.
The new study is “the most convincing documentation” to date that radiation can lead to sex bias in humans, according to geneticist Karl Sperling of the Institute of Medical Genetics and Human Genetics in Berlin.
The findings challenge the conventional belief that exposure to nuclear radiation has no, or negligible, genetic effects in humans,
Millions Fewer Girls Born Due to Nuclear Radiation? “Unexpected” findings suggest bomb tests, plant accidents boosted male births Ker Than National Geographic News June 2, 2011 Nuclear radiation from bomb tests and power plant accidents causes slightly more boys than girls to be born, a new study suggests. While effects were seen to be regional for incidents on the ground, like Chernobyl, atmospheric blasts were found to affect birth rates on a global scale. Continue reading
X-ray, mammogram radiation may increase breast cancer risk for some
women http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/19482704/x-ray-mammogram-radiation-may-increase-breast-cancer-risk-for-some-women Sep 07, 2012 Exposure to radiation is an established risk factor for breast cancer among all women, the study authors pointed out. – Women with certain gene mutations are more likely to develop breast cancer if they were exposed to radiation from chest X-rays or mammograms before age 30, compared with those who have the gene mutations and weren’t exposed to radiation, new research suggests. Continue reading
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