The more radiation therapy you receive, the more likely it is you’ll develop a second cancer caused by that radiation, according to a document[PDF] released by the American Cancer Society, which admits that certain organs such as the breast and thyroid are more prone to developing a second cancer.
This information is followed by a new study which found that second cancers in Americans have increased a whopping 300 percent since the 1970s, all of which are a completely new type of cancer and not a reoccurrence of an old cancer.
The study also found that first cancers have spiked 70 percent over the last 45 years, highlighting the burgeoning profitability of an industry that shows no signs of slowing down as capital gains from cancer drugs reached the $100 billion mark last year.
Radiation, which may damage DNA, is believed to be responsible for 1.5 percent of cancer in the United States, and that’s not just from cancer therapy treatments but also from other sources of radiological imaging such as mammograms and coronary artery and CT scans, the latter of which delivers 100 to 500 times the radiation of an ordinary X-ray.
“For every 1,000 people undergoing a cardiac CT scan, the radiation adds one extra case of cancer to the 420 that would normally occur,” according to The New York Times.