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Oncology (General Cancer)/Risk of living in nickel contaminated area

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QUESTION: Hello Dr Nordquist,

I live in an area of Canada that produces a lot of nickel from large mining operations. The issue is that there is a greater concentration or contamination of nickel and other pollutants in the area around my city (Sudbury, ON) than I guess what should be considered normal. Since nickel is a carcinogen, this worries me. I believe i recall reading the cancer mortality rate in this region is 185/100,000 people, while the provincial average is around 158/100,000. I know mortality doesn't equate to incidence, but that is the best info i could find for comparison purposes. What do you think about that?

Also, I have emailed you before, but above is stuff I have not considered. I was the one who had several fluoroscopic VCUGs, and questions about the supernumerary nipple and its risk of genituorinary cancer concerns, and  about mild gynecomastia and its relationship with cancer some months earlier. Otherwise, I am in good shape with a decent diet, age 22 male.

Thank you so very much,

Jesse Smith

ANSWER: Yes nickel is to some extent a carcinogen but unless you somehow are dealing with it more or less directly the risk is not big. Yes I do remember your previous questions. However to try to evaluate your total risk level with all these factors involved is beyond my ability. But the risk for all of us to die of a malignancy is around 30%. At that level so to speak for everyone the extra contributions of these factors are probably marginal. And in the end so far life is a losing game. We will all die of something. What we can do is to avoid obvious risks like smoking and too much alcohol - which is not much - & certain professions what in your case would be for example nickel mining. There is not much more we can do and then hope for the best. Of course you can also have your urine system checked regularly. But I have to tell you that at your present age your risk level is very low! If in your shoes I would not start any check ups until I was at least close to 40! Good luck!


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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks very much,

My father was also someone who worked as an engineer underground in these nickel mines, on top of being a smoker. My mom was also a casual smoker. Do you think that makes a difference to me somehow? I guess on a genetic level?

That's all i have left to ask, I promise!

Appreciate your kindness,

Jesse Smith

ANSWER: No not in a genetic sense. But he may have to some extent contaminated your home environment. Still I think the effect by now would be rather marginal. Good luck!

You can also reach me at: http://www.liveperson.com/professional/expert-profile.aspx?gsBMQvSJ0S4K1haAm6AtH
There is no limit to the number of questions there. Please note: NEW SITE!

Donations are also always welcome! No amount is too small, no amount is too big!



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ah! Forgot to mention i also fly a lot...if cosmic radiation makes a difference?

Thanks you've been wonderful.

Jesse

Answer
Is this the very last?! Cosmic radiation doubles with every km - approx. 3000 feet - of increased altitude. That may sound much but unless you leave for interplanetary space the risks involved are rather marginal and not VERY big even then! So I do not think you need to worry much about that. Not even Concorde crews needed to have their radiation exposure measured & recorded!

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There is no limit to the number of questions there. Please note: NEW SITE!

Donations are also always welcome! No amount is too small, no amount is too big!  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.

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Questions concerning Cancer, Oncology, radiation Therapy, Tumours, Chemotherapy, Cytotoxic Drugs, Hormonal Therapy, Radiation Protection.

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I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 I have no restrictions in the number of questions there. I also answer questions in these other categories: General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer

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I'm a medical doctor and specialist in medical oncology and radiation therapy

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