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Radiat Res. 2014 May;181(5):531-9. doi: 10.1667/RR13494.1. Epub 2014 Apr 22.

Skin cancer incidence among atomic bomb survivors from 1958 to 1996.

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a  Department of Epidemiology, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan;


The radiation risk of skin cancer by histological types has been evaluated in the atomic bomb survivors. We examined 80,158 of the 120,321 cohort members who had their radiation dose estimated by the latest dosimetry system (DS02). Potential skin tumors diagnosed from 1958 to 1996 were reviewed by a panel of pathologists, and radiation risk of the first primary skin cancer was analyzed by histological types using a Poisson regression model. A significant excess relative risk (ERR) of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) (n = 123) was estimated at 1 Gy (0.74, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26, 1.6) for those age 30 at exposure and age 70 at observation based on a linear-threshold model with a threshold dose of 0.63 Gy (95% CI: 0.32, 0.89) and a slope of 2.0 (95% CI: 0.69, 4.3). The estimated risks were 15, 5.7, 1.3 and 0.9 for age at exposure of 0-9, 10-19, 20-39, over 40 years, respectively, and the risk increased 11% with each one-year decrease in age at exposure. The ERR for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in situ (n = 64) using a linear model was estimated as 0.71 (95% CI: 0.063, 1.9). However, there were no significant dose responses for malignant melanoma (n = 10), SCC (n = 114), Paget disease (n = 10) or other skin cancers (n = 15). The significant linear radiation risk for BCC with a threshold at 0.63 Gy suggested that the basal cells of the epidermis had a threshold sensitivity to ionizing radiation, especially for young persons at the time of exposure.

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