The Dangers of Radiation Exposure During Pregnancy

There are many things a pregnant woman needs to avoid, including radiation. It is believed that pregnant women who are exposed to radiation are highly likely to deliver babies with birth defects. In utero exposure to radiation can also increase the child’s cancer risk later in life.

Professor Edamisan Temiye, a Paediatric Oncologist and lecturer in the College of Medicine in the University of Lagos, said children exposed to x-ray radiation during pregnancy have high chances of developing cancer as they grow up. According to him, children with abnormalities in their bodies are also predisposed to cancer due to genetic factors. For instance, if you have identical twins and one of them developed cancer, the chances of the other twin also developing cancer is very high. Furthermore, if half of a child’s body is bigger than the other half, there is also a very high chance of that child developing cancer.

Early detection is crucial to curing childhood cancer.

According to Dr. Temiye, a specialist in childhood cancer, early detection is essential in curing cancers that develop in children. Cancer among children is far more curable than in adults; however, the likelihood of death is also greater and faster in youngsters than in adults. It is very important, therefore, that parents are aware of the cancer symptoms and should seek immediate medical assistance the moment their children exhibit any of the symptoms.

He also stressed the need for centers dedicated to the treatment of cancers developed in children, and for medication to be more reasonably priced. He says that one of the major reasons for the high mortality rate in children with cancer is the families’ inability to cope with the rising cost of medication and treatment.

How to minimize radiation exposure during pregnancy.

X-ray treatments, when used properly, can save lives. If used inappropriately, it can cause inevitable cancers. If you’re pregnant, you may want to postpone your routine mammograms and dental X-rays, as well as avoid getting a CAT scan (which, by the way, is equivalent to hundreds of chest X-rays). You can ask your doctor for diagnostic alternatives such as MRI or ultrasound when necessary.

Apart from medical equipment, pregnant women also have to avoid handheld gadgets that emit radiation, including mobile devices. While a mobile phone’s radiation is as feeble as a microwave’s, emissions may still damage the DNA in the long run, with prenatal exposure resulting in defects. These unfortunate defects may become apparent in the baby’s eyes, brain, liver, and skin, which is why it’s recommended to keep mobile phones away from the mothers’ abdomens at all times. The same precaution goes for tablets and iPads which, according to prior testing, are best used eight inches away from the body.

Another way to minimize exposure to radiation is to turn off your mobile phone and Wi-Fi router at night, especially during sleep when the body naturally repairs damage from within. It is advisable to avoid excessive usage of the microwave and the consumption of microwavable food.

Pregnant women who encounter full-body scanners at the airport need not worry too much because the exposure they get is very minimal. However, it is best to err on the side of caution and ask for a pat-down instead.

Be aware of the effects of radiation.

All cancers are ruthless diseases that will negatively impact the life of an adult or child. If you need more information on the negative effects of radiation, do not hesitate to contact New Hope Unlimited by filling out our online form.

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