New YCN Blog – reducing exposure to radiation in cancer prevention

Radiation is the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or moving subatomic particles. Natural radiation is produced by a variety of naturally occurring radioactive elements present in soil, water, air, and the human body. Every day, we are naturally exposed to a small amount of ionising radiation. Radon gas from the earth is often the most common source, however, there are other man-made sources that make up a tiny part of it.

This type of ionising radiation (high energy radiation) can be the cause of cancer if a person is exposed to a lot of it. Radiation can affect our cells and damage our DNA, in some instances this is a useful tool in treating and diagnosing cancer; chest x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and radiation therapy can all induce cell damage. The risks of cancer from these medical procedures are very low, and the benefits almost always outweigh the risks.

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