How much is too much radiation? – Châtelaine

There’s an impostor in my body. Ultrasounds have revealed an inky lump of cells with irregular borders lurking among the healthy tissue in my right breast — and I’m about to have a mammogram to gauge the seriousness of the situation.

It’s March, and the morning of the appointment during which I will be exposed to a small dose of radiation happens to coincide with frightening news about radiation in Japan. On a TV screen in the waiting room at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, I watch as workers at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant attempt to cool overheating nuclear reactors that were damaged after a devastating earthquake and tsunami. Experts discuss the effects of radiation on long- and short-term health — and then my name is called.

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