Fukushima Aftermath: Whither the Indian Point Nuke?/Radiation cancer

Radiation cancer may occur following ionizing radiation exposure following a latent period averaging 20 to 40 years.[1][2] Various malignancies may develop, most frequency basal-cell carcinoma followed by squamous-cell carcinoma.[1][3][4] Elevated risk is confined to the site of radiation exposure.[5] Several studies have also suggested the possibility of a causal relationship between melanoma and ionizing radiation exposure.[6] The degree of carcinogenic risk arising from low levels of exposure is more contentious, but the available evidence points to an increased risk that is approximately proportional to the dose received.[7] Radiologists and radiologic technologists are among the earliest occupational groups exposed to radiation. It was the observation of the earliest radiologists that led to the recognition of radiation-induced skin cancer—the first solid cancer linked to radiation—in 1902.[8] While the incidence of skin cancer secondary to medical ionizing radiation was higher in the past, there is also some evidence that risks of certain cancers, notably skin cancer, may be increased among more recent medical radiation workers, and this may be related to specific or changing radiologic practices.[8] Available evidence indicates that the excess risk of skin cancer lasts for 45 years or more following irradiation.[9]


  1. a b James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G.; et al. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0. 
  2. Gawkrodger DJ (October 2004). "Occupational skin cancers". Occup Med (Lond) 54 (7): 458–63. doi:10.1093/occmed/kqh098. PMID 15486177. 
  3. Hurko O, Provost TT (April 1999). "Neurology and the skin". J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 66 (4): 417–30. doi:10.1136/jnnp.66.4.417. PMID 10201411. PMC 1736315. http://openurl.ebscohost.com/linksvc/linking.aspx?genre=article&sid=PubMed&issn=0022-3050&title=J%20Neurol%20Neurosurg%20Psychiatry&volume=66&issue=4&spage=417&atitle=Neurology%20and%20the%20skin.&aulast=Hurko&date=1999. 
  4. Suárez B, López-Abente G, Martínez C, et al (2007). "Occupation and skin cancer: the results of the HELIOS-I multicenter case-control study". BMC Public Health 7: 180. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-180. PMID 17655745. 
  5. Lichter, et al. "Therapeutic ionizing radiation and the incidence of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The New Hampshire Skin Cancer Study Group." Arch Dermatol. 2000 Aug;136(8):1007-11.
  6. Fink CA, Bates MN (November 2005). "Melanoma and ionizing radiation: is there a causal relationship?". Radiat. Res. 164 (5): 701–10. doi:10.1667/RR3447.1. PMID 16238450. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/melanoma.html. 
  7. Wakeford R (August 2004). "The cancer epidemiology of radiation". Oncogene 23 (38): 6404–28. doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1207896. PMID 15322514. 
  8. a b Yoshinaga S, Mabuchi K, Sigurdson AJ, Doody MM, Ron E (November 2004). "Cancer risks among radiologists and radiologic technologists: review of epidemiologic studies". Radiology 233 (2): 313–21. doi:10.1148/radiol.2332031119. PMID 15375227. 
  9. Shore RE (May 2001). "Radiation-induced skin cancer in humans". Med. Pediatr. Oncol. 36 (5): 549–54. doi:10.1002/mpo.1128. PMID 11340610.