The Basics of Skin Cancer

There was once a time, when cancer was a disease that was considered rare and something that was almost unheard of, for most people. Today, the doctors encounter a growing number of people who are being affected by the same. What is alarming is that there are so many types of cancers these days and that many times detecting them becomes a tough task.

One of the most common types of cancer encountered these days is skin cancer, and in most cases, the reason behind the same is that people are not taking care of themselves and are not being sun safe. What is important to remember is that if the skin cancer is detected well in time, it can be treated and even cured.

What is skin cancer?

When there is an uncontrolled growth of skin cells that are not normal, it is known as skin cancer. This type of cancer occurs when DNA of skin cells get damaged and has not been repaired. This leads to mutation, genetic defects and could also lead to tumours and malignancy.

Why skin cancer needs to be treated immediately:

If the condition is detected in its initial stages, it is relatively easy to treat the cancer and to even eradicate it completely. In addition, early detection will also ensure that the condition does not spread to other parts of the body.

In order to receive early treatment, it is important that you learn how to examine your skin, which in turn will ensure that you are able to detect the condition, well in advance.

What are the types of cancers?

In order to treat skin cancer, figuring out the type of cancer is the most crucial step of all. There are actually three types of skin cancers:

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): This is perhaps the most common type of skin cancer and is actually much more frequent, as compared to the other types of skin cancers. This type of cancer arises from the basal cells, which are actually present in the deepest layers of the epidermis. The initial presentation might be in the form of a bump or sore, that does not heal. It could also present in the form of a patch of skin, which is red and irritated. Most of the times, the areas of the skin that are constantly exposed to sunlight, such as face, ears and scalp are affected by basal cell carcinoma. If the condition is diagnosed well in time, treating and curing it, is possible.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): Initiating in the squamous cells, this type of cancer too infests in the epidermis. The condition may present itself in the form of skin crusting or scaling. The area could become red and inflamed and there could be bumps, which do not heal. While the condition is seen most commonly in areas which are constantly exposed to sunlight, it could actually manifest itself in any part of the body. With early treatment, the condition can be stopped from spreading.

Melanoma: This is the most dangerous type of skin cancer arising from the pigmented skin cells. If the condition is not diagnosed well within time, it could lead to death; however, this type of cancer can be treated and cured with minor surgeries. But if the melanoma starts to spread within the body, then curing it can be quite the tough task.

What are the main treatments for skin cancer:

If the condition has been detected well within time, there are certain procedures and treatments, which can cure the cancer. Some of the most commonly used procedures include:

Wide local excision – The tumour is removed using surgery, and a small portion of the tissues, surrounding the tumour is also removed.

Mohs surgery – The skin cancer is removed in a very precise manner

Cryosurgery – The tumour is destroyed using cold treatment

Laser surgery – The cancer cells are vaporized using laser

Curettage and Desiccation – The skin cancer is removed via methods such as scraping and cauterization

Topical chemotherapy – Prescribed medications, in the form of lotion or creams, will have to be applied on the skin, where the cancer has manifested itself

Laser treatments for pre-cancerous growths – A laser is used to remove the skin conditions that could eventually develop into skin cancer

Photodynamic therapy for pre-cancerous growths – Special medications, known as photosensitizing agents, are combined with light therapy and these are utilised for the eradication the defective cells.

What are the main dos and don’ts?

Here are the things that you should do:

· Try to minimise the time you spend in the sun, especially between 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, which is when the rays of the sun are the strongest.

· Wear clothing that will offer protection against the sun, including sunglasses and hats with wide brims

· Make sure that you use sunscreen on a regular basis, and pick one that will offer you protection against UVA as well as UVB.

· Avoid artificial tans, tanning beds and tanning devices as much as possible.

· Learn how to recognised the ABCDEs of skin cancer lesions:

A: Asymmetry

B: Border irregularity

C: Colour variability

D: Diameter increase

E: Evolving nature

· If you notice any skin lesions or moles, then it would be best that you visit a dermatologist immediately.

Here are the things you should avoid doing:

· If you notice any signs of skin cancer, do not ignore them, and make sure that you have them screened by a doctor.

· Rather than going to a general practitioner, it would make sense to meet a dermatologist, because they would be able to offer better advice.

· If the condition is diagnosed as skin cancer, do not shy away from asking questions and further treatment.

Debunking Skin Cancer Myths

There was once a time, when hearing that someone is suffering from cancer was a rare thing, because cancer was not a prominent disease. However, today, most people know someone who is suffering from cancer in some part of their body. Skin cancer has become one of the most prevalent types of cancer.

What is interesting is that while there are several things that people do not know about skin cancer, there are just as many myths associated with it as well. Here are some of the most common myths, related to skin cancer:

• People with dark skin are not at risk for sun damage or skin cancer:

It is considered that people with lighter skin are more prone to skin cancer, while people with darker skin are safe. Although people with darker skin are comparatively safer, in no way is their skin completely safe from skin cancer or damage caused due to the sun’s rays. People with darker skin too need to take care of their skin, especially when they are stepping out in the sun, and they too need to invest in good quality sunscreen. As a matter of fact, darker people face greater danger, because detecting skin cancer in them is much tougher and in many cases, the diagnosis comes a little too late.

• Simply because there are not too much outdoor activities in one’s routine, they have less risk for skin cancer:

You might not be someone who spends hours outdoors, but you would obviously step out for a few minutes each day. This could be to send your child to school or purchase groceries; it could even be the time you take to walk from the car park into the mall. Adding up all these tiny amounts of times of sun exposure would be enough to lead to skin damage. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that brief amounts of time spent outdoors, between 10 am and 4 pm, are more than enough to cause squamous cell cancer. Although squamous cell cancer might not be as severe or serious as melanoma, it can become extremely difficult to treat, if not caught in time.

• Those who are out in the snow, skiing or snowboarding need not wear sunscreen, because during the winter months, the sun is not strong enough:

The winter months are the most dangerous, because during the summers, people knowingly take all the required protection, such as hats, clothing and sunscreen. However, during the winter months, the sun provides a sense of warmth that most people enjoy, but little do they realise that the sun is still powerful enough to cause damage. In addition, when you are out on the white snow, the rays of the sun tend to get reflected, leading to greater chances of skin cancer. This is why sunscreen is just as important in the winter months.

• If the day is cloudy, you can skip the sunscreen:

Simply because the sun is not visible does not mean that it is not there or that it cannot cause any damage. Even when the sun is hidden behind the clouds, the ultraviolet rays are able to penetrate and they can cause much damage to your skin. While you might not feel the heat of the sun as much, there is still the chance of you getting a sunburn. This is why, even on a cloudy day, you need to make sure that you wear plenty of sunscreen and have protective clothing when stepping out.

• All sunscreens are the same:

While most people think that sunscreens that have a sun protection factor or SPF of 30 is the best, there are actually several levels to this protective lotion too. Understanding the same is the first step towards being sun safe. For starters, if you do not apply ample amount of sunscreen or apply it incorrectly, then even the most powerful sunscreen might not be enough. If you are someone who does not like to slather on sunscreen, then it would make sense to invest in a higher grade. People who spend greater amount of time in the sun and tend to sweat a lot will have to apply more sunscreen.

• It is only UVB radiation that can lead to skin damage and cancer:

Both UVA and UVB are dangerous and can lead to damaged skin, which is why you need to look for a sunscreen that provides protection against both.

• Tanning will reduce the chance of getting skin cancer:

Simply because you are someone who gets tanned and not sunburnt, does not mean that you will not get skin cancer. The very fact that you are getting tanned means that your skin has been altered. When the colour of your skin changes, it is an indication of damage and studies have shown that more the tanning on your skin, the greater the chances of you getting cancer! When your skin has been exposed to too much sun, there is an increase in the amount of melanin and this could lead to melanoma. Some of the other problems would include wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation.

• Cut off a mole that looks suspicious and you will be safe from cancer:

A mole might look bad and cutting it off could provide you with a cosmetic solution that makes you happy. However, in many cases, the mole is actually step one to skin cancer, which is why, the moment you see a suspicious mole, it would be best that you head to a dermatologist, who will be able to decipher the same.

Gynecologic Cancer And Its Types

The reasons to women developing gynecologic cancer are many. The cancer is caused primarily due to the damage caused to certain genes resulting in the growth and spread of cells in an uncontrollable manner. The damage to the cells may be caused due to smoking, with age, due to environmental issues or even due to inheritance.

The female reproductive organs such as cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva are the source from which the cells grow abnormally. The different types of gynecological cancers are cancer of the cervix, ovarian cancer, vaginal cancer, cancer of the vulva, uterine cancer and very rarely you also get to hear of cancer of the fallopian tube.

The narrow end of the uterus is where cervical cancer usually starts. This area connects to the top of the vagina. Women in their 30’s are found to be more prone to this type of cancer and is found to be spread by the Human Papillomavirus. The survival rate of people with this type is very high because when detected early it is treatable.

Ovaries are present on either side of the uterus and are found to cause the maximum number of deaths due to cancer of the female reproductive system. If diagnosed during the early stages, the treatment can surely help.

The organ that homes the baby is called the uterus. Cancer that happens in the uterus is uterine cancer. It is shaped in the form of a pear and found in the pelvis. All women are risk bearers but the risk multiplies with age.

Vaginal cancer happens in the vagina which is a tube kind of structure which is present just below the uterus and runs outside the body. It is one of the rarest forms of cancer of the female reproductive organs.

The cancer happening in the vulva is cancer of the vulva. The vulva is the outer portion of female genitalia. It is also one of the rare types of cancer.

Fallopian tubes are organs that connect the ovaries to the uterus. Cancer of these tubes is very rare but not unheard of.

The different types of cancer of the female reproductive organs have different symptoms and they all come with different risk factors. They also have separate preventive measures. Frequent screening helps in early diagnosis which in turn leads to treatment. This early diagnosis and treatment can save one from the fatal consequences of cancer.

The risk of developing gynecologic cancer is common to all women. The best way to control it is to screen yourself for cancer regularly and get the required treatment as early as possible.

Are You Armed Against Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths in developing countries

In India, cervical cancer is the most common woman-related cancer, followed by breast cancer. About 122,844 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed annually (estimations for 2012). It mostly affects middle-aged women (between 40 and 55 years), especially those from the lower economic status who fail to carry out regular health check-ups. The early stages of cervical cancer are asymptomatic, later stages may present with abnormal vaginal bleeding, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, low back pain, bleeding and pain during urination or pain during sex. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is now a well-established cause of cervical cancer. Several cofactors associated with HPV persistence are smoking, promiscuity, long-term oral contraceptive use and other sexually transmitted infections like HIV. At least 50% of sexually active men and women get HPV at some point in their lives which usually resolves spontaneously; however, only 3-10% of women develop persistent infections, and are at high risk of developing cervical cancer.

Tools for prevention:

Lifestyle Changes

Avoid multiple sexual partners, delaying first sexual intercourse, reducing tobacco use.

Since early detection predicts better prognosis, one of the most effective ways of preventing and controlling cervical cancer is regular screening by Pap Smear, VIA and early diagnosis.


Screening by cervical cytology Pap smear (scrapings from the cervix) has lead to marked reduction in cervical cancer incidence. The test is not considered for women below the age of 25 years and over the age of 65 years. A 3-yearly examination is recommended for women between the ages of 25 -49 years while for the age group between 50-64 years a Pap smear once in every 5 years is recommended. The problem with pap smear screening is its low compliance among Indian women.

HPV Vaccines

Prevention by vaccination is emerging as the most effective option. Among the several strains of HPV infection two strains: HPV 16 and 18, account for more than 70% of all cancer cases worldwide. HPV vaccines that prevent against HPV 16 and 18 infection are now available and have the potential to reduce the incidence of cervical and other anogenital cancers.

The currently available vaccines are safe and efficacious. The protection is seen only when the vaccine is given before infection with HPV, the vaccine should be given prior to sexual debut. The vaccine should preferably be introduced to parents as a cervical cancer preventing vaccine and not as a vaccine against a sexually transmitted infection. The HPV vaccination is therefore of public health importance.

Two vaccines licensed globally are available in India; a quadrivalent vaccine (GardasilTM marketed by Merck) and a bivalent vaccine (CervarixTM marketed by GlaxoSmithKline). These vaccines do not protect against the serotype with which infection has already occurred before vaccination. The bivalent and quadrivalent vaccines available are prophylactic, not therapeutic.

Prevention is better than cure. This saying does not seem to hold good for Indians as far as health care is concerned with only around 10 per cent of adults opting for vaccines

Treatment of established cervical cancer

8 Signs Of Cervical Cancer That Women Need To Observe

Cervical cancer is completely treatable and preventable, but only if detected early on in its development. Tests such as pap smears have helped bring down the number of deaths attributed to this sexually transmitted infection; yet the ignorance of early warning signs leads to many deaths- deaths which can be completely avoided with just a little bit of information and vigilance.

Cervical cancer is an infection caused by the human papillomavirus, which comes in many types and few of which cause cancer. The symptoms of this disease are a lot more subtle than some other cancers, but can be clearly spotted nonetheless to save lives. Here are 8 signs of cervical cancer that women need to observe and watch out for.

1. Unusual Bleeding

The most common of all early onset symptoms, unusual bleeding between menstrual cycles or following sexual intercourse can signal trouble. This symptom becomes even more important in post-menopausal women.

2. Unusual Discharge

It is normal for women to have a nominal amount of clear and odorless discharge. But watch out for foul smelling and irregular looking discharge, particularly if it is increased in output as this could be an early sign of cervical cancer.

3. Pain in the Legs and Lower Back

With swelling up of the cervix, blood flow to the legs and lower back can get obstructed. Tis often results in pain and swelling in the legs and lower back with a sore, painful sensation. Swollen ankles and pain in the hips too can be attributed to this factor and must not be ignored.

4. Pelvic Pain

Cramps and pain in the pelvis is not unusual for women, especially at certain points of their menstrual cycle. But if this pain is more acute or frequent, lasts longer than usual, or comes at a strange point in your cycle, then you are better off booking a checkup with your doctor.

5. Uncomfortable Sex

Painful sex, referred to as dyspareunia, is a common side effect of cervical cancer and can be attributed to the swelling and discomfort caused by the infection, as well as other medical conditions associated with it. If you are experiencing uncomfortable or painful sex, waste no time in getting a thorough check up.

6. Discomfort in Urination

Urinary symptoms indicate that the cancer has spread to a nearby tissue and must not be ignored. Stinging sensations or other discomfort when passing urine is a clear sign or trouble, as is irregular urinary habits such as incontinence, change of frequency and discoloration (especially with blood).

7. Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Your menstrual cycle can directly reflect the rhythms and state of your body, and as such cervical cancer can cause fluctuations and disruptions in it. Any marked inconsistencies can be a sign of cervical cancer and are best not ignored.

8. Undue Loss of Weight and Fatigue

Coupled with the other signs listed above, drastic and unexplained weight loss and fatigue can signal cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can cause a rise in white blood cell count to fight the infection; this can be accompanied by a drop in the red blood cell count in the blood, leading to anemia and resulting in a lack of energy or appetite, weight loss and fatigue.

Cancer and Cancer Cells That Come Alive After Grief or Stress

I often think of the wife of Dana Reeve the wife of Christopher Reeve, who in May 1995 had a horrible accident while riding a horse, followed by 10 years of misery totally unable to move. He was an inspiration to everyone but what he went through was far beyond we have ever seen any major celebrity have to endure for so long a period of time. Soon after his death, Christopher Reeve’s wife Dana contracted lung cancer in her mid-40’s and died a short time after. Most amazing is Dana never smoked. I consider this story, along with the JFK Jr. Tragedy in 1999, by far the 2 worst celebrity tragedies of all time. A distant third would be Princess Diana’s death in France in 1997.

So how did Dana Reeve die in her mid-40’s of horrible lung cancer, when she didn’t even smoke? The theory is that Dana was a very good lounge singer and because of all the second hand smoke, she had cancer cells in her body for a long period of time. The following theory is that the cancer cells like this come alive when the body is greatly weakened by a long period of grief over a horrible tragedy and great stress which would happen after Christopher Reeve finally died after 10 long years. I am not a doctor, but this has always been my theory about smoking, or second hand smoke and cancer, which is the scourge of humanity and has been for hundreds of years. When the body is greatly weakened by stress, grief and great periods of depression for a long period of time the cancer cells become alive again and the spouse, or the person under stress and grief dies. The Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve story is a story worthy of a great movie, which I would love to be able to write one day. What Dana Reeve had to witness and survive, seeing her husband in that condition for so long is an amazing tribute to her strength as a person.

My mother smoked for many years, but she gave it up 20 years ago. A little less than 3 years ago, my father died of Cancer at age 84, and even though he was far from a good person or husband, my mother was married to him for over 50 years. Three months ago, my mother was diagnosed with Cancer, and a few weeks later she is in a Hospice at age 79. The horror is that it seems that Cancer cells are always in your body, if your smoke, if you’re exposed to second hand smoke, or for other reasons. I have seen people go through great stressful events and die soon after from Cancer many times over the years. The pattern seems to be very strong and repeats many times over.

Will we ever see a cure for cancer in our lifetime? Does this world wide scourge of humanity make far too much money to ever want a cure? I don’t have an answer to this question, but if human life on this planet is mostly just all about money and because of this money, nobody cares about horrible human suffering because of a cancer, then there is something very wrong with this earth we all call home.

Popular Procedures for Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung Cancer is the most fatal and responsible for the most number of deaths among all cancers. But thankfully, it is not beyond treatment, especially in its earlier stages. The best type of Lung Cancer Treatment depends on the stage and nature of the cancer. Appropriateness of the recommended treatment depends on the expertise of the Lung Cancer Specialist and goes a long way into ensuring a successful recovery. This article provides an overview of the most popular methods of treating Lung Cancer and the common side-effects associated with them.


Surgery is the most common way of treating Lung Cancer. It involves removal of the tumor along with the affected part of the lung. Though this is a popular step, its feasibility largely depends on the stage of the cancer. Surgery is preferably not opted for, if the cancer has spread to other places. The types of surgery for Lung Cancer are determined by the size of the lung tissue which requires to get removed.
The procedure is termed Wedge Resection when only a small part of the lung has to be removed. Lobectomy or Bilobectomy is the removal of an entire lobe of the lung. In extreme cases, the entire lung may be required to be removed, in which case, it is called Pneumonectomy. Both Thoracotomy (large incision) and VATS or Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (small incision) can be used for Lung Cancer Surgery. The side-effects include complications due to surgery and pain.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy is used in 3 cases. It is used to shrink the tumor before surgery, kill the remaining cancer cells that may be left after surgery, or as the primary method of Cancer Treatment. Radiation Therapy, as the primary treatment, is mostly used when the cancer has spread too far for surgery to be feasible. The radiations can be administered either from outside the body or from right within the tumor.
Radiation Therapy is however a complicated process with a host of side-effects, like skin reactions, sore throat, nausea, pain, tiredness, etc. Reaction to Radio Therapy is usually quite fast but managing the side-effects is the task of an expert.


Chemotherapy, just like Radiation Therapy, attempts to destroy the cancerous cells. However, in this case, special drugs are used in place of radiation. The drugs are administered through tablets or intravenous lines. Chemotherapy has a huge risk of killing the healthy cells too leading to side effects like appetite loss, hair loss, fatigue, and more. Chemotherapy is being replaced with targeted therapy which is more accurate in attacking the cancerous cells.

Complementary Therapies

Many patients are going for complementary therapies to accompany their regular treatment regime. Techniques like meditation, Yoga, Therapeutic Touch, Ayurved, etc. have shown to lessen the effects of side effects and provide relief. However, it is highly recommended to consult your Lung Specialist on the same.


Lung Cancer, being fatal, can take a lot of toll on the mental health of the patient and his near and dear ones. The Top Lung Cancer Treatment Centers have facilities for consultation on the same in their own premises or tie ups with those that provide the same.

The above are the some of the most popular methods that are being used to treat cancer. As further study on the matter brings newer facts to light, we are hopefully moving towards a world where Lung Cancer can kill no more. Till that times, ensure good health for your lungs with regular visits to a Lung Specialist.

Leukemia – Treatment Breakthroughs For Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Recently released news from a U.S. pharmaceutical company stunned the market when they revealed that they had trialed a new drug that may help in the fight against chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). About one month ago “Ibrutinib,” a new orally taken drug that is said to be different from traditional chemotherapy treatments by targeting specific processes and preventing tumor metastasis (spread) was announced.

It is said to work by binding to the B-cells (cells that produce antibodies) while not affecting the T-cells (cells that destroy invading pathogens [microorganisms] with perforins [a protein produced by killer cells of the immune system that causes disintegration] and granules [a small particle]).

When chemotherapy is given to a patient, usually it has the effect of causing the T-cells a great deal of damage. Because of this, the side-effects a cancer patient experiences can be quite severe. However, because Ibrutinib does not affect these vitally import T-cells, the adverse side-effects are significantly reduced.

Treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia is considered to be literally lifesaving. So such an important announcement has gathered an awful lot of interest from both researchers and physicians alike. Studies have been impressive, with the results astounding those involved.

One particular study showed where two different groups were trialed with Ibrutinib, one group (81% of patients) was given a 420 mg dose (considered a low dosage), and another group (40% of patients) was given a 840 mg dose (considered a high dosage), the results were unbelievable. These two groups accounted for 74% of all the CLL sufferers involved in the trials. Further more, the trials showed that nearly 90% of patients showed a 50% reduction in lymph nodes.

The trials carried out on the CLL patients themselves has their challenges, as chronic lymphocytic leukemia is in general a very difficult disease to treat at the best of times. Over 40% of patients involved in these trials who had previously been given at least three prior treatments involving chemotherapy and other drugs, had suffered a relapse. Other challenges were age, as over 20% of the patients were over 70 years old.

To sum this up, Ibrutinib showed, and is still showing amazing results, as nearly 80% of those who were trialed are still taking the drug today, and who are showing a 90% response rate. Over 13% of patients have been able to achieve a complete response, and a minority of 3% have been declared in remission and who will be continually monitored in the future. It certainly seems that Ibrutinib has a future!

Symptoms and Signs of Leukemia

A sign can be defined as something that can be recognized and observed by a healthcare professional or a doctor. A symptom on the other hand is something that can be recognized by the person who is experiencing it. These symptoms and signs of leukemia can also be caused by various other chronic health conditions. Thus it is extremely important to always have an unusual check for symptoms from a good doctor. Acute leukemia has symptoms and signs that may be similar to the flu and can come on suddenly within a few weeks or days. On the other hand chronic leukemia has symptoms that can gradually develop and people will then complain that they do not feel very well. This disease is discovered when a routine blood test is done.

Rare symptoms and signs

The rare symptoms and signs of leukemia are as follows.

• Choroma

This is a tumor like collection that consists of leukemia cells and it is present under the skin and or other parts of the body.

• Skin changes

Leukemia cutis can occur when the cells of leukemia cell enter the skin. The patches and sores can be of any particular size and are usually tan or pink in color.

Leukocytoclastic vasculitis can resemble a very allergic reaction on the skin of the person suffering. The sores can usually appear on the hands and also feet.

The sweet’s syndrome includes painful sores and fever that can appear anywhere on the patient’s body.

Blood count

A complete blood count must be done in order to measure the quality and number of the white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells. The leukemia is mostly suspected when the cell counts of the blood are abnormal and the blood cells are not looking very normal. The abnormal blood cell counts may be due to various other conditions and can be extremely abnormal. These abnormal blood counts may be due to various other conditions and leukemia. The blasts may not exactly occur normally in the blood so the leukemia is suspected if the blasts are present. It is one of the important things to remember.

5 Ways Fukushima Radiation Releases Are Poisoning Investments

In 2011 Japan’s nuclear regulator raised the danger level of an ongoing radioactive leak at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant to 7 on a 7-point scale. Officials said Tuesday (August, 2013) that a storage tank has leaked 300 tons of radioactive water into the ground.

Here are five things about the Fukushima radiation leak and related investments:

1. Investors in Uranium are Hurt:

The price per ton of uranium has tanked since the March, 2011 nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, which caused losses for anyone invested in uranium mining shares. Germany’s shutdown of most of its nuclear reactors pushed the demand for uranium to further lows.

How much Fukushima radioactive material leaked into the ocean?

Scientists measured 5,000 to 15,000 terabecquerels of radioactive material was reaching the ocean in 2011. The biggest threat was from the radionuclide cesium. The radionuclides strontium and tritium pose more of a threat for leaks that enter the ground, as cesium is absorbed by the soil while the other two are not.

A terabecquerel is 1 trillion becquerels, defined as the radioactive decay of one nucleus per second; a sievert is a unit of biological radiation dose which is equivalent to about 50,000 front view chest X-rays.

2) Nuclear Utilities Investors are Hurt:

Investors in nuclear facilities over the last five decades have enjoyed a decent return on their investment, generally in the 10 to12 percent range per year. The Fukushima incident has hurt those investments big time and many of them have fallen by 30 to 50%. It may take years to recover, if they ever do. Some investors sold their stock shares for a loss, to move on to other investments and try to start anew.

The Tokyo Electric Power Plant (TEPCO) estimated between 30 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium leaked into the ocean so far contaminating it for years, the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.

The damaged plant is still leaking about 300 tons of water containing these radioactive radionuclides into the ocean every day in 2013, Japanese officials stated. This huge amount of radiation is poisoning the whole Pacific ocean that more than two million fishermen depend on to earn their living from and to feed their families.

3) Fishermen Livelihoods Have Been Destroyed:

Millions of fishermen from up and down the west coast of America, the west coast of Mexico, all around Japan, Korea, the east coast of China, the west coast of Canada, and the coasts of Alaska have had their fishing livelihoods seriously damaged by the humongous radiation poisoning of the Pacific ocean by Japan. The majority of these fishermen who had their lives invested in fishing and multiple thousands of dollars invested in their boats are now suffering huge losses of income and loss of funds to make bank payments on their fishing boats. Many are declaring bankruptcy and working part-time jobs on land to make ends meet for their families. Fishing in the Pacific ocean, once a billion dollar a year industry, has tanked taking down a million fishing families with it, a truly horrendous development. Japanese fishermen who followed their fathers into the fishing trade have been decimated by the huge poisoning of the ocean all around Japan.

How will the radioactive material affect sea life?

U.S. scientists say the groundwater leaks could become worse. Nicholas Fisher, a marine biologist at Stony Brook University in New York told Live Science for a previous article. “But in the region, yes, it’s possible there could be sufficient contamination of local seafood, so it’d be unwise to eat that seafood,” Fisher said.

3) Forcing Fishermen and Women to Stop Investments:

Fishing families now do not have any extra funds to make in other investments such as gold, silver, or stocks. Some are losing the very house they called home for the last 5-10 years as they fall behind in their mortgage payments, a situation that causes major displacement of families, depression, and leads to divorces. Christmas celebrations are bleak as families struggle just to put enough food on the table every week. In some families, parents are forced to take amounts out of their retirement accounts just to help feed the family.

4) Playing the Lottery:

As desperation keeps gnawing at them, some fishermen allocate a few dollars each week to placing bets on their state’s lottery, praying and hoping for the big win to lift their family out of the economic hole they have been slammed into. This is a long shot but someone wins every week so more persons keep playing the lottery chasing that one-in-a-million odds, even though it takes dollars away from their meager budgets.

5) Millions of Farmers Lose Money on Contaminated Crops:

Farmers in Japan have suffered mightily with the majority of their crops testing radioactive and unfit for the market. Farmers in the largest growing region in the United States, the famous San Joaquin valley in central California have had to spend thousands more per farm to implement protective strategies to protect and clean their produce of any residual radiation particles. Dairy farms in Hawaii, the western United States and Canada have found radiation particles in their milk and were forced to dump thousands of gallons out-wasted. These farmers struggle every month trying to grow their crops contamination-free. Wherefore, investments of time and money in their farms are now questionable if the crop proceeds will pay back more than the yearly expenses. Some have switched to growing crops in indoor greenhouses to provide a measure of protection. Still, minute particles of radiation get into the water source and is taken up by plants even in greenhouses, so the problem continues. Many of these farmers struggle now to make the mortgage payments on their farms and ranches as well as paying the hired hands. Only time will tell how bad this radiation contamination affects the millions of people living near the Pacific ocean.