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Radiotherapy Elevates Lifetime Risk of Cancer

  • Whether radiotherapy treatment is used for acne, peptic ulcers, scalp ringworm or cancer, universally we see an elevated risk of cancer that lasts for the remainder of the patient’s life. [2] For example, a 36-year-old male patient who was treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease in 1972 developed colon cancer 18 years later. [3]
  • “Indeed, young patients treated with chemotherapy and especially radiation therapy are at high risk of developing secondary cancers. Chemo-radiotherapy appears to also increase more significantly the risk. ” [4] What’s more, the risk of secondary cancers developing later in life is even greater for those treated during childhood; “Risks of radiation- related cancer are greatest for those exposed early in life, and these risks appear to persist throughout life. ” [5]
  • Radiotherapy for scalp ringworm causes multiple basal cell carcinomas in about 40% of patients up to 50 years later. [6] · Radiotherapy for acne is strongly associated with basal cell carcinoma arising within the radiation treatment field. [7] ·  Radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in children increases breast cancer risk 24-times.[8] · Radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma increases stomach cancer risk 3.4 times. [9] ·  Radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma increases the risk of breast cancer, ” …with risk increasing dramatically more than 15 years after therapy.” [10]
  • Radiotherapy for testicular cancer increases pancreatic cancer risk 2.9-times, persisting for over 20 years. [11]
  • Radiotherapy for testicular cancer increases stomach cancer risk 5.9-times, persisting “for several decades. ” [12]
  • Radiotherapy for breast cancer significantly increases cancer formation in the other (contralateral) breast. [1]
  • Radiotherapy for peptic ulcers increases risk of cancer; “Cancer mortality remained high for up to 50 years, indicating that radiation damage may persist to the end of life.” [13]
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