August 28, 2013 |
As hospitals race to offer the latest in high-tech care, a major California health insurer is pushing back and refusing to pay for some of the more expensive and controversial cancer treatments. Blue Shield of California is taking on this high-cost radiation treatment just as Scripps Health in San Diego prepares to open a gleaming, $230-million proton beam therapy center this fall, only the second one in California and the 12th nationwide. This week, Blue Shield began notifying doctors statewide of its new policy for early-stage prostate cancer patients, effective in October.
May 30, 2013 |
Astronauts heading to Mars would face exposure to a deluge of radiation, in some cases as much as NASA policy permits, according to new data from the Curiosity rover. The space agency limits astronauts to a 3% increased risk of fatal cancer. This translates to different levels of radiation exposure, depending on an astronaut's age and gender. But according to a paper published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, radiation exposure in a nonstop round-trip to Mars, which would take about a year, would ring in at about 662 millisieverts.
May 8, 2013 |
Marine biologist Dan Madigan stood on a dock in San Diego and considered some freshly caught Pacific bluefin tuna. The fish had managed to swim 5,000 miles from their spawning grounds near Japan to California's shores, only to end up the catch of local fishermen. It was August 2011, five months since a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami had struck in Japan, crippling the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Madigan couldn't stop thinking about pictures he'd seen on TV of Japanese emergency crews dumping radioactive water from the failing reactors into the Pacific Ocean.
March 13, 2013 |
These days, thanks to advances in treatment and detection, millions of women survive breast cancer. But surviving the disease doesn't necessarily mean the entire battle is over, a population-based study of breast cancer survivors in Sweden and Denmark, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine , seems to suggest. Assessing a total of 2,168 women whose breast cancer was treated with radiation therapy between 1958 and 2001, a team of researchers found that women's chances of having a major coronary event - a heart attack, bypass surgery or heart disease death - rose in proportion with the radiation dose they received, even at the lower doses of radiation delivered in newer treatments.
March 1, 2013 |
A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
January 18, 2013 |
The Transportation Security Administration is removing controversial full-body scanners made by a Torrance manufacturer, winning praise from privacy advocates and passenger-rights groups that raised questions about the health effects of the devices. Rapiscan, a unit of OSI Systems Inc., manufactured about 200 full-body scanners used by the TSA to screen passengers for hidden weapons at airports across the country. The machines generated a storm of protest because the devices use low levels of radiation to create what resembles a nude image of screened passengers.