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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 478-480

Nuclear denotation and increased incidence of cancer: A present concern in cancer research

Wiwanitkit House, Bangkhae, Bangkok, Thailand

Date of Web Publication19-Jan-2012

Correspondence Address:
Viroj Wiwanitkit
Wiwanitkit House, Bangkhae, Bangkok - 10160
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.92026

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 > Abstract 

The recent destruction of the nuclear electricity plant in Japan has led to nuclear leakage. The nuclear denotation has become the present issue of concern. In oncology, there is no doubt that exposure to nuclear leakage can cause cancer. In this particular brief article, the author discusses the existing evidence of nuclear denotation and the incidence of cancer.

Keywords: Cancer, denotation, nuclear

How to cite this article:
Wiwanitkit V. Nuclear denotation and increased incidence of cancer: A present concern in cancer research. J Can Res Ther 2011;7:478-80

How to cite this URL:
Wiwanitkit V. Nuclear denotation and increased incidence of cancer: A present concern in cancer research. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Aug 10];7:478-80. Available from: https://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2011/7/4/478/92026

 > Introduction Top

The recent tsunami attack in Japan is a serious episode. It killed thousands of the Japanese and caused a loss of several million US dollars. [1] In addition, this natural disaster also caused the destruction of the nuclear electricity plant in Japan, leading to nuclear leakage. The nuclear denotation occurred. [1] The nuclear denotation has become the present issue of concern. [1],[2] To date (late April, 2011), the problem is still not under control.

Anything 'Nuclear' is not safe for any living thing that is exposed to it, at a high dosage. In oncology, there is no doubt that exposure to nuclear leakage can cause cancer. In this particular brief article, the author discusses the existing evidence of nuclear denotation and the incidence of cancer.

Evidence on the increased incidence of cancer in the population exposed to nuclear leakage:

With reference to the previous famous nuclear leakage crisis, the Chernobyl crisis, there are some interesting evidences on the incidence of cancer in the population exposed to nuclear leakage. [3] The evidence on some interesting cancers is discussed herewith:

 > Thyroid Cancer Top

There were several evidences on the increased incidence of thyroid cancer in the subjects exposed to thyroid leakage. [4],[5] According to the report of the United Nations Scientific Committee, on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, the collective thyroid dose, in 1986, was 1,600,000 man(m)Gray (Gy). [6] Based on this fact, 'a radiation-related increase in thyroid cancer incidence in children and adolescents, with the highest incidence in the age group of zero-to-four years,' was found. [7] Cardis and Hatch concluded that the risk was greatest in the youngest during exposure and the underlying iodine deficiency might increase the risk. [8] In addition, an increased incidence in the adult population was also reported (with an additional significant increase in the cancer incidence of 2.6% per year). [9] Hence, there is no doubt that the use of potassium iodide prophylaxis be recommended in the post-crisis of nuclear plant disruption. [10] According to the WHO guidelines, prophylaxis should be given to protect pregnant and breast-feeding women, newborns, and children under 18 years first. [11]

 > Leukemia Top

Leukemia is another important cancer that is widely mentioned. In the case of the Chernobyl crisis, increased incidence of leukemia was reported in many articles. Noshchenko et al., reported a significant increased risk of acute leukemia (AL) among those with radiation exposure doses higher than 10 mGy. [12] Several kinds of leukemia had been noted. [12],[13] Gluzman et al., noted on the observed pattern that 'the AL pattern was seen to be quite typical, except for several peculiar features characteristic of this regional group of patients, especially the absence of age peaks in children with acute myelogenous leukemia, increased frequency of the T1 variant in the T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and higher levels of M4 and M5 variants in AML'. [14] However, several publications were against the findings. [15],[16],[17],[18],[19] Discordant reports on the null effect of exposure and leukemogenesis have been published. [15],[16],[17],[18],[19]

 > Brain Cancer Top

Whether brain cancer incidence increases due to nuclear leakage exposure is still questionable. Some reports have noted the increased incidence. [19],[20],[21] Tondel et al., have noted 'a continuous increase of brain tumor incidence in children, in the age group of 0 - 19 years, during the period 1978 - 1992, without a clear relationship to the Chernobyl fallout.'. [20]

 > Lung Cancer Top

Another malignancy that is widely studied is lung cancer. [22],[23] Long-term deposition of radionuclide in the bronchopulmonary system of radiation-exposed subjects who finally develop lung cancer is reported in literature. [24] It has been reported that 'extensive cancer-related molecular abnormalities sequentially occur in radiation-damaged bronchial epithelium' in highly exposed subjects. [25]

What is to be studied in the future cancer research?

As already discussed, the increased incidence of cancer can be seen in subjects exposed to high radiation levels after a nuclear crisis. The confirmation of thyroid cancer leads to the suggestion of preventive action. For the other cancers, although there are some reports it is still not conclusive.

The future research should follow up the subjects publicly exposed to low (< 0.1 Gy) and high (> 0.1 Gy) radiation levels, to derive new epidemiological data on cancers. In addition, due to the good medical laboratory techniques at present, an in-depth study on the relationship between the underlying genomics of the indexed cancer cases might also provide a new insight to this topic. A long-term follow-up of more than 20 years is suggested. [1],[6],[26]

Comparing the present fallout of radionuclide in Fukushima with the case of Chernobyl, some differences can be seen. The iodine status of the population in Fukushima, which is next to the sea, should be less deficient that those in Chernobyl. The estimate of the external collective doses to the local populations in the disaster areas in the case of Fukushima (4,400 person.Sv) is lesser than that in the case of Chernobyl (7,300 person.Sv). [26] Finally, based on the experience from the case of Chernobyl, preventive action was possible in the present Fukushima case and early evacuation was done. [26] These factors can affect the detected cancer rate in the future.

 > References Top

1.Wiwanitkit V. Post-crisis: Earthquake, tsunami, radiation leak and rural health crisis in Japan. Rural Remote Health 2011;11:1770.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Matsumoto M, Inoue K. Earthquake, tsunami, radiation leak, and crisis in rural health in Japan. Rural Remote Health 2011;11:1759.   Back to cited text no. 2
3.Tondel M. Increased cancer risk after Chernobyl--The cause should be investigated more closely. Lakartidningen 2007;104:3691-2.   Back to cited text no. 3
4.Suárez J, Sanhueza S. Radiation-induced cancer. Rev Med Chil 1996;124:1390-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Nikiforov YE. Radiation-induced thyroid cancer: What we have learned from chernobyl. Endocr Pathol 2006;17:307-17.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.United Nations. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. Vol. 2. Scientific annexes C, D and E. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. UNSCEAR 2008. Report to the General Assembly with scientific annexes. New York, United Nations, 2011.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Cardis E, Howe G, Ron E, Bebeshko V, Bogdanova T, Bouville A, et al. Cancer consequences of the Chernobyl accident: 20 years on. J Radiol Prot 2006;26:127-40.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Cardis E, Hatch M. The chernobyl accident - An epidemiological perspective. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2011;2:251-60.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Reiners C, Demidchik YE, Drozd VM, Biko J. Thyroid cancer in infants and adolescents after Chernobyl. Minerva Endocrinol 2008;33:381-95.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Mürbeth S, Rousarova M, Scherb H, Lengfelder E. Thyroid cancer has increased in the adult populations of countries moderately affected by Chernobyl fallout. Med Sci Monit 2004;10:CR300-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Jaworska A. Iodine prophylaxis following nuclear accidents. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 2007;127:28-30.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Noshchenko AG, Bondar OY, Drozdova VD. Radiation-induced leukemia among children aged 0-5 years at the time of the Chernobyl accident. Int J Cancer 2010;127:412-26.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Noshchenko AG, Moysich KB, Bondar A, Zamostyan PV, Drosdova VD, Michalek AM. Patterns of acute leukaemia occurrence among children in the Chernobyl region. Int J Epidemiol 2001;30:125-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Gluzman DF, Abramenko IV, Sklyarenko LM, Nadgornaya VA, Zavelevich MP, Bilous NI, et al. Acute leukemias in children from the city of Kiev and Kiev region after the Chernobyl NPP catastrophe. Pediatr Hematol Oncol 1999;16:355-60.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Petridou E, Proukakis C, Tong D, Kassimos D, Athanassiadou-Piperopoulou F, Haidas S, et al. Trends and geographical distribution of childhood leukemia in Greece in relation to the Chernobyl accident. Scand J Soc Med 1994;22:127-31.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Steiner M, Burkart W, Grosche B, Kaletsch U, Michaelis J. Trends in infant leukaemia in West Germany in relation to in utero exposure due to Chernobyl accident. Radiat Environ Biophys 1998;37:87-93.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Davis S, Day RW, Kopecky KJ, Mahoney MC, McCarthy PL, Michalek AM, et al.; International Consortium for Research on the Health Effects of Radiation Writing Committee and Study Team. Childhood leukaemia in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine following the Chernobyl power station accident: Results from an international collaborative population-based case-control study. Int J Epidemiol 2006;35:386-96.   Back to cited text no. 17
18.Gapanovich VN, Iaroshevich RF, Shuvaeva LP, Becker SI, Nekolla EA, Kellerer AM. Childhood leukemia in Belarus before and after the Chernobyl accident: Continued follow-up. Radiat Environ Biophys 2001;40:259-67.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Uss AL, Zmachinski V, Skriaguine A, Sneguir V, Milanovich N, Mitskevich P, et al. The Chernobyl governmental program: Two years of experience at the Belarusian Bone Marrow Transplant Centre. Stem Cells 1997;15 Suppl 2:299-303.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Tondel M, Carlsson G, Hardell L, Eriksson M, Jakobsson S, Flodin U, et al. Incidence of neoplasms in ages 0-19 y in parts of Sweden with high 137Cs fallout after the Chernobyl accident. Health Phys 1996;71:947-50.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Rahu M, Rahu K, Auvinen A, Tekkel M, Stengrevics A, Hakulinen T, et al. Cancer risk among Chernobyl cleanup workers in Estonia and Latvia, 1986-1998. Int J Cancer 2006;119:162-8.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Zubovskiĭ GA, Khrisanfov SA. Lung cancer in survivors of radiation exposure at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Vopr Onkol 2003;49:359-62.  Back to cited text no. 22
23.Rahu M, Tekkel M, Veidebaum T, Pukkala E, Hakulinen T, Auvinen A, et al. The Estonian study of Chernobyl cleanup workers: II. Incidence of cancer and mortality. Radiat Res 1997;147:653-7.  Back to cited text no. 23
24.Grobova OM, Chernikov VP. The presence of cesium-137 in the tissue of a lung tumor in someone who cleaned up the aftermath of the accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Electric Power Station. Ter Arkh 1996;68:26-30.   Back to cited text no. 24
25.Chizhikov V, Chikina S, Gasparian A, Zborovskaya I, Steshina E, Ungiadze G, et al. Molecular follow-up of preneoplastic lesions in bronchial epithelium of former Chernobyl clean-up workers. Oncogene 2002;21:2398-405.  Back to cited text no. 25
26.Directorate of the Radiological Protection and Human Health. Assessment on the 66th day of projected external doses for populations living in the north-west fallout zone of the Fukushima nuclear accident. Available from: http://www.irsn.fr/EN/news/Documents/IRSN-Fukushima-Report-DRPH-23052011.pdf. [Last accessed on 2011 Apr 10].  Back to cited text no. 26

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[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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