World Bulletin / News Desk
People who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as children continue to have a higher-than-normal risk of thyroid cancer more than 50 years after radiation exposure, according to a U.S. study.
Thyroid cells are particularly vulnerable to ionizing radiation, the kind produced by the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown or the atomic bombings in Japan.
The study published in the International Journal of Cancer tracked new cancer diagnoses in people who were in Japan during the bombings in 1945 and those who were not.
In total, there were 371 thyroid cancers diagnosed between 1958 and 2005 in about 105,000 atomic bomb survivors.
The study found little evidence that adults exposed to the radiation were more likely to develop thyroid cancer later on.
However, for children exposed to the radiation, the result was different. The study found 36 percent of 191 thyroid cancers in people who were children or teens at the time was likely due to radiation exposure.
"Thyroid cancer is one of the most radio sensitive cancers," said Kiyohiko Mabuchi at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who worked on the study.
"Younger (thyroid) tissue may be more sensitive to radiation - that's one of the hypotheses."
The thyroid releases hormones that help regulate the body's metabolism. The gland works especially hard during times of fast growth and development in children and teens.
The researchers said it was not clear whether the findings have implications for Japanese children who were living near the Fukushima nuclear plant, which suffered a meltdown last March following an earthquake and tsunami.
In the case of Fukushima, quick evacuations may have minimized the exposure risk, said radiation researcher John Boice from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Boice pointed out that even among atomic bomb survivors, the risk of thyroid cancer was very low for people who only got a small dose of radiation.
"And, it appears around Fukushima and in Japan that the exposures to kids were below a level where there's been any detectable increase (in cancer risk)," Boice added.
Researchers are still calculating radiation exposures after Fukushima. A typical head CT scan delivers about 2 millisieverts (mSv) worth of radiation, compared to 350 mSv and higher exposures among people who were evacuated after Chernobyl. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/PscolC
According to the World Health Organization, more than 80,000 children in Pakistan have not been immunized against polio
A total of 5,459 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record, according the World Health Organization
Plague, a bacterial disease, is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas.
Felix Baez Sarria, the first Cuban to contract the deadly disease, will be treated in a Geneva hospital.
No Ebola cases detected for two incubation periods, says World Health Organization
The World Health Organization and leading global health specialists have criticised Saudi Arabia for failing to properly investigate the causes of MERS.
UNICEF predicts that the number of children orphaned by Ebola – which currently stands at nearly 200 – will reach as many as 2,000
UN Article 82 could mean millions in additional costs for drilling companies.
The figures, through Nov. 16, represent a jump of 243 deaths and 732 cases since those issued last Friday, and cases continue to be under-reported, the WHO said in its latest update.
The infectious disease causes total paralysis in a matter of hours. It affects mainly children under five years of age.
The 30-year-old woman was from the province of Minya, south of Cairo. She died in a hospital in the southern city of Assiut
UNAIDS estimated that by June 2014 some 13.6 million people globally had access to antiretroviral medicines - a dramatic improvement on the 5 million who were getting treatment in 2010.
The H5N8 form of the virus has hit a Dutch chicken farm and a German turkey farm and is suspected - but not yet confirmed - as the strain that infected ducks on a British farm.
'Hidden childhood killer' drowning is among the ten leading causes of child and youth deaths, according to WHO's first global report on drowning.
More than 20 species of starfish, also called sea stars, from southern Alaska to Baja California are dying from a wasting disease
Japan has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is a cherished part of its food culture