Komen for the Cure to Convene Global Panel Addressing Future Cancer Risk from Nuclear Exposure
DALLAS – March 17, 2011 –
Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced a call to global cancer leaders to help avert a potential cancer crisis in the wake of the nuclear reactor incidents in Japan.
Humanitarian assistance can take many forms, and the global cancer community has a vital role to play. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is urging that global cancer leaders start working together now to develop a cancer action plan for Japan. The plan would draw on lessons learned from past nuclear accidents at Chernobyl, Kyshtym and Three Mile Island.
Radiation exposure from known nuclear accidents is thought to have caused thousands of deaths by cancer. Health issues such as cataract development, cancer and birth defects are all related to the amount of exposure. Although it has been 25 years since Chernobyl, some believe exposure to fallout may be responsible for thyroid cancers that are still occurring among people who lived in the region.
The global cancer community must act now to help Japan contend with a looming cancer crisis. Chernobyl produced the biggest group of cancers ever from a single incident, and the world may be facing a disaster of similar magnitude in Japan. Susan G. Komen for the Cure will therefore convene a panel of global experts to immediately begin addressing the future cancer risks generated from this incident and draft a plan of action.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure will also be asking its vast network of global friends and supporters to sign a petition at www.komen.org/japan calling for the release of all information regarding the incident and the potential effects of migrating radiation. As Japan works to contain the impact of the current crisis and provide for the immediate needs of its citizens, the organization urges the government to partner with the global cancer community to help protect the long- term public health of people in Japan and around the world.
“It is imperative for the global cancer community to draft a plan of action for Japan and to assist plant workers and residents in every way possible," said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and chief executive officer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “As someone who served on the National Cancer Advisory Board at the time of the Chernobyl disaster, I know the long-term implications of this type of nuclear tragedy. I encourage people to sign the petition and join in our efforts to help the people of Japan and those affected by radiation exposure.”