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Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention$
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Michael Thun, Martha S. Linet, James R. Cerhan, Christopher A. Haiman, and David Schottenfeld

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190238667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190238667.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing Radiation

(p.227) 13 Ionizing Radiation
Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Amy Berrington de GonzÁlez

André Bouville

Preetha Rajaraman

Mary Schubauer-Berigan

Oxford University Press

Ionizing radiation is a universal carcinogen due to its ability to induce cancer in most organs following exposure at any age, including in utero. Several organs are especially radiosensitive, particularly when exposure occurs in childhood. These include the female breast, thyroid, brain, and red bone marrow. Very few cancers, notably cervical and Hodgkin lymphoma, do not seem to be related to ionizing radiation, for unknown reasons. For most cancers (lung may be the exception) the relative risk decreases with attained age and time since exposure. Currently the main sources of radiation exposure to the general population involve very low-dose (<50 mGy) natural background exposure (including residential radon) and medical exposures, such as computed tomography (CT) scans. Natural background exposure varies by location but is generally stable over time. Medical exposure has been increasing in many countries due to the expanded use of advanced imaging technologies.

Keywords:   ionizing radiation, computed tomography, radiosensitivity, radon, carcinogen

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