A local nuclear group that usually hosts its events in the Aiken area took its monthly breakfast on the road and out of the country to hear from one of Canada’s leading cancer researchers.
Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, or CNTA, hosted its Up & Atom breakfast Friday in Deep River, Ontario, home to the Atomic Energy Company of Canada at Chalk River.
The talk was the second in a series sponsored by CNTA and featured Dr. David Jaffray, the head of radiation physics at the Princess Margaret Hospital and a senior scientist within the Ontario Cancer Institute.
Jaffray spoke on the role of nuclear science in cancer survivability. The treatment method, radiation therapy, is a proven one and is used to treat 50 percent of all cancer patients, according to CNTA.
The approach gives surgeons, radiologists and radiation oncologists a three-dimensional view of the body during treatment, allowing them to see the exact location of cancerous tissues in real time.
Clint Wolfe, executive director of CNTA, said many cancer patients are benefiting from the new approach, which improves survival rates and quality of life. The group has interest from the Canadian group and the Sellafield plant area in the United Kingdom in developing CNTA-like organizations for those communities, said Wolfe.
He added the group is happy to talk about the medical uses of nuclear technology.
“Public education on this topic is a very important part of our mission, but we have often relegated it to a back seat behind more local issues related to SRS,” Wolfe said. “Our challenge is to take advantage of every opportunity we have to educate the public on all aspects of our mission while vigorously addressing SRS issues.”
CNTA sponsored its first Canadian event in October. Wolfe added the group has considered expanding to other parts of the country including Idaho, Washington and North Carolina. The group seeks to provide factual, objective information on nuclear subjects for the general public and for educational purposes.
Derrek Asberry is the SRS beat reporter for the Aiken Standard.