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Radiat Res. 1991 Mar;125(3):318-25.

Radiation-induced skin carcinomas of the head and neck.

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Radiation Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Radiation exposures to the scalp during childhood for tinea capitis were associated with a fourfold increase in skin cancer, primarily basal cell carcinomas, and a threefold increase in benign skin tumors. Malignant melanoma, however, was not significantly elevated. Overall, 80 neoplasms were identified from an extensive search of the pathology logs of all major hospitals in Israel and computer linkage with the national cancer registry. Radiation dose to the scalp was computed for over 10,000 persons irradiated for ringworm (mean 7 Gy), and incidence rates were contrasted with those observed in 16,000 matched comparison subjects. The relative risk of radiogenic skin cancer did not differ significantly between men or women or by time since exposure; however, risk was greatest following exposures in early childhood. After adjusting for sex, ethnic origin, and attained age, the estimated excess relative risk was 0.7 per Gy and the average excess risk over the current follow-up was 0.31/10(4) PY-Gy. The risk per Gy of radiation-induced skin cancer was intermediate between the high risk found among whites and no risk found among blacks in a similar study conducted in New York City (Shore et al., Radiat. Res. 100, 192-204, 1984). This finding suggests the role that subsequent exposure to uv radiation likely plays in the expression of a potential radiation-induced skin malignancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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