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Radiation can actually end up being a long term threat.

Long Term Threat

Childhood-cancer treatment is one of the success stories of the late 20th century. A child diagnosed with cancer in the 1970s had a 56 percent chance of surviving for 5 years.Today, that likelihood is nearly 80 percent.However, we are beginning to notice that cancer survivors seem more prone to other life-threatening medical problems later. Studies show that survivors face an increase in heart problems or another bout with cancer.

Radiation therapy appears to be the culprit in heart problems and second cancers. Radiation therapy of the chest may damage coronary arteries, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.In regards to secondary cancer the radiation breaks DNA strands thus causing mutation of the gene that prevents a cell from over dividing.That is where radiation can be carcinogenic.

Terry Pfau, DO, HMD

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