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Breast Cancer-Free Zones:   Why Not?
An Effective Way to Begin

By John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D.

    * - Breast-cancer strikes 1 out of 9 women (USA).

    * - A single case of diagnosed breast-cancer can be due to multiple causes, each of which contributed. If one of the necessary co-actors had not been there, the case could not have occurred as it did.

    * - The key to preventing a case of breast-cancer is to remove a necessary co-actor. The x-ray --- which is one type of ionizing radiation --- is a proven co-actor in causing human breast-cancer. Not a suspected cause. Not a "maybe." It's a proven cause.

    * - Do we advise women to reject medical uses of radiation which expose their breasts? No. Medical uses are sometimes very beneficial. The key point is that women can receive all the benefits of medical radiation with vastly less harm, if the medical professions will reduce unnecessarily high dose-levels and frequencies of exposure. Dose-levels from ordinary mammography have already been reduced by about 30-fold, when compared with 25 years ago. For many other uses of medical irradiation, the same kind of determined effort still needs to be made in reducing unnecessarily high dose-levels.

    * - It is a certainty that every reduction in unnecessary breast-irradiation will prevent a number of breast-cancers which would otherwise occur. This certainty does not exist for the "maybe" causes of breast-cancer.

    * - Because the "incubation time" for radiation-induced breast-cancer varies from one person to another, cases which will be diagnosed 10 to 50 years from today are already being generated now. We urge all women who are trying to prevent breast-cancer for themselves, and for their daughters and grand-daughters, to make use of the knowledge that radiation is a major, proven, preventable cause of this disease.

    * - If women use the knowledge already available, they can start moving their own communities toward "BREAST CANCER-FREE ZONES." No new laws are required --- just self-education, goodwill, and physician-education. Many physicians who use or "order" medical irradiation do not yet know the short list of the following facts:

The following 6 statements are documented in Preventing Breast Cancer:


    1   *   Radiation is a proven cause of human breast-cancer.

    2   *   Breast-cancer is more easily induced by ionizing radiation than cancer at other sites.

    3   *   If a child and an adult receive equal radiation doses, they both acquire an increased risk of cancer. The extra hazard is more severe for the child.

    4   *   If a group of people receive radiation at the same age, the radiation-induced cancers among them will occur at many different ages, because "incubation times" can vary by decades.

    5   *   Breast-irradiation receivet by females during infancy and childhood increases their rate of breast-cancer in adulthood.

    6   *   There is no safe dose (no risk-free dose) of ionizing radiation. Every exposure adds to a population's rate of cancer. While an individual's risk from a single x-ray procedure can be low, the aggregate cancer-consequences from millions of such procedures each year are not low. Even small reductions in average dosage can produce large benefits in prevention of cancer.

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