International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2018 | Month: December | Volume: 8 | Issue: 12 | Pages: 143-151

Site-Specific Analysis of Cancer Incidence and Related Sociological Parameters in a ‘Radiation Hot Spot’, along the West Coast of Tamil Nadu, India

Aneesh D1, Kanagappan, M2, Godwin Wesley S3

1Research Scholar, 2Associate Professor, 3Professor Emeritus,
Department of Zoology and Research Centre, Scott Christian College (Autonomous), Nagercoil - 629 003, Kanniyakumari District, Tamil Nadu

Corresponding Author: Aneesh D


Background: Manavalakurichi, along the west coast of Tamil Nadu, India is well known for its natural radioactivity due to deposition of monazite sand and considered as high background natural radiation area (HBNRA). The incidence of cancer in relation to background radiation and parameters such as occupation, habits (tobacco chewing, smoking, drinking) and gender was preliminarily assessed. Although residing in a HBNRA has been reported to lead to an increase in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes, the carcinogenic effect has not yet been established. The present study aims to evaluate the impact of background radiation in residents of HBNRA.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted considering 938 and 778 residents from HBNRA and low background natural radiation area (LBNRA), respectively using as health assessment survey questionnaire.
Result: The incidence of cancer was 1.49% in HBNRA and 1.43% in LBNRA. Regression analysis of the total population of both areas revealed that radiation dose is not significantly related to incidence of cancer (R2 = 0.010, p=0.411). Pearson chi-square analysis of data showed that a higher proportion (age >18 years) has relationship between cancer and tobacco usage [HBNRA: χ2 (1, N=364) = 7.098, p = 0.009, LBNRA: χ2 (1, N=322) = 5.544, p = 0.024]. The rate of infertility, incidences of miscarriages and still births and gestation period were also found to have no relation to radiation.
Conclusion: The impact of background radiation in cancer incidence is not well established. The statistical power of the study might not be adequate due to the low dose to estimate the cancer risk. The detailed study should be needed in wider population to find out the exact effect of background radiation in cancer incidence.

Key words: Cancer incidence, Background radiation, Radionuclide, HBNRA, Manavalakurichi

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