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Breaking News: Radiation Causes Cancer!
Shocking, I know, but there it is.
Hal's family has known this for years. His father was a 13-year survivor of lung cancer. Had a lung removed, no chemo, no radiation, went on to lead a productive life. Until, thirteen years later, he died of leukemia. Which he got from all the x-rays the doctors insisted he have to see if he had any more lung cancer!
On their website, the American Cancer Society says radiation causes cancer. Actually, unless you live in a cave, the wealth of evidence against radiation is abundant. Which is why I doubt the sanity of parents who cheerfully guide their children into the death ray at the airport. What are they thinking? Are they so timid, they can't even stand up for their children? So nannied-up, they can't think for themselves? Are they afraid they'll hurt someone's feelings at the TSA if they opt-out so they pretend it's going to be ok if they just don't think about it? I don't get it.
Following are a few tidbits off the ACS site that reinforced my decision to never walk through a scanner. Does it do anything for you? Am I crazy paranoid? [Don't answer that.]
An important distinction that affects the health risks from radiation is whether the energy is ionizing or non-ionizing.
Ionizing radiation is high-frequency radiation that has enough energy to remove an electron from (ionize) an atom or molecule. Ionizing radiation has enough energy to damage the DNA in cells, which in turn may lead to cancer. Gamma rays, x-rays, some high-energy UV rays, and some sub-atomic particles such as alpha particles and protons are forms of ionizing radiation.
"Ionizing radiation has enough energy to damage the DNA in cells, which in turn may lead to cancer." Uh huh. That means mammograms and CAT scans and MRIs and chest x-rays may actually cause the cancer we are there trying to find out if we have. Kinda ironic, isn't it? Wish I'd known this before getting a mammogram every year for the last 10...
If ionizing radiation passes through a cell in the body, it can lead to mutations (changes) in the cell's DNA, the part of the cell that contains its genes (blueprints). This could contribute to cancer, or to the death of the cell. The amount of damage in the cell is related to the dose of radiation it receives. The damage takes place in only a fraction of a second, but other changes such as the beginning of cancer may take years to develop.
So the damage done by all past mammograms is... done. Great.
Ionizing radiation is a proven human carcinogen (cancer causing agent).
That statement is pretty clear. No wiggle room.
...most scientists and regulatory agencies agree that even small doses of ionizing radiation increase cancer risk, although by a very small amount.
"Although by a very small amount." Oh. Good. I feel better now.
Although radiation exposure affects the occurrence of various types of cancer, it does not affect their aggressiveness (tendency to grow and spread).
Excellent. I feel WAAAAAY better now. Maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones and my cancer will be a slow growing cancer. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.
The types of cancer linked to radiation are also affected by the part of the body that is exposed. For example, people who get pelvic radiation therapy would not be expected to have higher rates of cancers in the head and neck because these areas weren't exposed to radiation.
So.... with those full-body front-and-back penetrate-your-clothing ionizing radiation scanners at the airport... my...full body is at risk. Or am I not understanding English all of a sudden?
Other factors may also play a role in how likely a person exposed to radiation is to develop cancer. Age is one such factor - children's growing bodies are more sensitive to radiation than adults.
When looking at their sources of ionizing radiation, it's probably an accident that porno scanners are LAST on the list.
Airport security scanners: In recent years, some airports have begun to use whole body scanners as a way to detect objects hidden by clothing. These scanners are different from the metal detectors most people are familiar with.
Really? You mean I don't have my DNA altered and you don't see me naked in the metal detectors? Gee, I didn't know that.
One type of body scanner, based on backscatter technology, uses very weak x-rays aimed at the surface of the body to capture a whole body image. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says the radiation from such a scan is about the same amount a person gets from cosmic rays when flying for 2 minutes in an airplane at 30,000 feet. A person would need to get more than 1,000 backscatter scans in a year to reach the same dose they'd get from a standard chest x-ray, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR).
Oh: "The TSA says..." Well, that's conclusive. I feel so much better now. I'm sure they would not just say that to keep their jobs. I mean, there have been no studies on the health effects of porno scanners, but, hey, the TSA says they are safe so they must be.
I mean, the TSA would know. Right?
Except that the American Cancer Society says radiation causes cancer.
Here's the article, read it for yourself: Radiation Exposure and Cancer.
Porno scanners emit radiation. I guess I'll have to content myself with the fact that they don't emit enough radiation to get cancer right away. UNLESS you are a child, in which case, well, maybe a child could get cancer right away.
But, hey, let's not dwell on unpleasantries! The TSA doesn't. C'mon, folks, lighten up already! Because the TSA says, with porno scanners, at least you and your children might not die in a terrorist attack.
Forget that you are twelve times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than in a terrorist attack. [Gee, seems like banning sheets and pillows would be prudent.]
It's much more likely you'll die slowly and painfully in a hospital bed, throwing up from chemo drugs while your skin is burned off from the other part of mainstream medicine's cancer treatment: radiation.