Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Three Mile Island and thyroid cancer: they now have a “marker” for radiation-caused cancer

thyroid cancer caused by low-level radiation has a different “mutational signal” than most thyroid cancer, Goldenberg said. He and his colleagues used molecular research that had been pioneered after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to find that genetic marker.  
 
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Three Mile Island and thyroid cancer: Debates continue over health issues after nuclear plant accident

On March 28, 1979, Chris Achenbach-Kimmel was a 14-year-old freshman at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Cumberland County. Fourteen miles away, on the Susquehanna River, staff at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station were trying to contain the damage from an accident at one of its reactors.

“I just remember being in class, and just getting the news, and wondering, what does this mean?”……

Her mother kept her and her siblings inside as much as possible. TV news reports echoed through the house as her mother waited for an “all clear” from authorities. ……

For Achenbach-Kimmel, the accident became merely one more high school memory. She graduated in 1982 and went on to a career in occupational therapy.

It wasn’t until her thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2010 that she thought again about Three Mile Island.

“I think as soon as I got over the initial shock, it’s like, oh my gosh, I wonder if these two things are related,” said Achenbach-Kimmel, now a 54-year-old academic fieldwork coordinator at the Elizabethtown College occupational therapy department.

Her doctor wasn’t surprised when Achenbach-Kimmel mentioned TMI.

“She said, ‘oh yeah, we see an increased incidence in the area compared to what my colleagues see around the country.’”

Pennsylvania has had one of the highest thyroid cancer rates in recent years, according to Centers for Disease Control.

For those who grew up in central Pennsylvania, Chris’s story is a common one. People blame TMI for their illnesses, and some doctors accept it could have been the case.

Yet, the nuclear industry’s position has been that there has been no conclusive link between the accident and adverse health effects…….

Dr. David Goldenberg, a surgeon and thyroid researcher, launched the Penn State College of Medicine Study after years of hearing his patients bring up the nuclear plant accident.

……  thyroid cancer caused by low-level radiation has a different “mutational signal” than most thyroid cancer, Goldenberg said. He and his colleagues used molecular research that had been pioneered after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to find that genetic marker.

The scientists screened out many thyroid cancer patients, limiting their study to 44 people who were born in counties around Three Mile Island, were present during the accident and were treated at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

“We found a shift, which absolutely can be attributed to exposure to radiation, during the correct time frame of the Three Mile Island accident,” he said, adding that this does not prove that TMI caused the cancer. It just shows a correlation.

Goldenberg is quick to point out the study’s limitations, emphasizing that he’s working on a larger follow-up study. Still, it has put him in the middle of a 40-year-old debate: Did the accident at TMI release more radiation than the government says? Did it harm people? https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/03/three-mile-island-and-thyroid-cancer-study-ignites-debate-over-health-issues-after-nuclear-plant-accident.html

 

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March 16, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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