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Oncology Organizations Seek to Calm Public Amid Radiation Scare

Sandra Kear
Published: Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011

Nuclear reactorAs the news of the nuclear crisis in Japan fuels public fears over radiation exposure, leading oncology organizations in the United States and Canada are seeking to add clarity to the debate.

The American Society of Clinical Society (ASCO) has provided talking points on the subject, and its Website features a link to an exclusive interview from the Houston & Texas News with James Cox, MD, a radiation oncologist from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (

The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) has publically stated its commitment to provide support. In a letter to Yoshio Hishikawa, MD, president of the Japanese Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (JASTRO), the president of ASTRO, Anthony L. Zietman, MD, wrote, “You have my commitment to provide any resources with respect to expertise, equipment or personnel that ASTRO has at its disposal.”

In Canada, the Canadian Association for Radiation Oncology (CARO) issued a news release to increase public awareness. In the release, CARO President Matthew Parliament, MD, provides information to help patients understand the differences between therapeutic radiation and exposure to radiation fallout. "In light of the events taking place in Japan related to the Fukushima nuclear accidents, resulting from the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, our profession has a responsibility to help Canadians to understand the differences between safe, therapeutic radiation therapy versus exposure to excessive fallout radiation resulting from a nuclear plant accident," Parliament said.

Other universities and healthcare organizations that have made efforts at educating both physicians and patients include:

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