Low-dose radiation may help prevent cancer: Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | December 20, 2017
CT Molecular Imaging X-Ray
Scientist emeritus makes his case
A scientist emeritus at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in New Mexico claims that low-dose radiation can enhance the body’s natural defenses against cancer.

In the new issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, he attempts to dispel the widely held belief that no safe dose of radiation exists.

“Before retiring in 2014 I had a project in the Department of Energy Low Dose Radiation Research Program, which was focused on the biological processes that relate to low radiation doses,” Bobby R. Scott, told HCB News. “My interest was in understanding the biological processes and their implications for cancer risk assessment for low radiation doses.”
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The program was canceled (a recent Forbes article tries to answer why), so no studies were conducted to investigate this, but Scott wasn’t willing to let this phenomenon go by the wayside.

He makes his case by pointing out that natural background radiation was estimated to have been five times higher in earlier eras and arguing that the mammals likely survived because of their enhanced natural cancer barriers.

One type of natural defense is antioxidant enzymes that deactivate reactive oxygen species. Preclinical studies have revealed that levels of these enzymes increase in response to whole-body exposure to low and moderate doses of ionizing radiation.

Double-strand breaks in DNA, which is the most serious type of damage, can be repaired with low radiation doses because it generates a protective natural barrier to mutation-related harm. It also reduces the frequency of spontaneous mutations.

Scott also reviewed experimental evidence and found that low-level radiation doses can induce epigenetic regulation of gene expression, cellular senescence, selective removal of aberrant cells, tissue-level interactions, suppression of cancer-facilitating inflammation and enhanced anti-cancer immunity.

Dave Vassy

Benefits of Low-Dose Radiation

December 28, 2017 02:57

Radiation fear has spawned reluctance in patients to undergo necessary x-ray exams, unjustified fear among physicians and staff, and waste of millions of man-hours and healthcare dollars. And this fear is based on irresponsible extrapolation of atom bomb data and other high-dose events. We really need research like this to reduce this expensive fear. Hard to believe the Obama administration axed the funding.

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