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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1988 Nov 2;80(17):1387-92.

Cancer incidence after radiotherapy for skin hemangioma: a retrospective cohort study in Sweden.

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  • 1Department of General Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The cancer incidence was studied in 18,030 patients (33% males, 67% females) with skin hemangioma who were admitted to Radiumhemmet, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, 1920-1959. Radium-226 sources were used in 12,821 patients, x-ray therapy was used in 2,515 patients, and no radiotherapy was given to 2,694 patients. Cancer incidence in the cohort was searched by record linkage with the Swedish Cancer Register for the period 1958-1982. The median age was 6 months for the treated patients and 8 months for the patients not receiving radiotherapy. In the group treated with radium-226 or orthovoltage x rays (greater than or equal to 100-kV peak), 224 cancers were observed [relative risk (RR) = 1.18; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03-1.35]. In patients given contact x rays, 10 cancers were observed (RR = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.34-1.30). In patients not treated with ionizing radiation, 34 cancers were observed (RR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.64-1.29). In patients treated with radium-226 or orthovoltage x rays, an RR of 1.65 was observed for breast cancer (95% CI = 1.26-2.13) and an RR of 2.73 was found for soft tissue tumors (95% CI = 1.18-5.38). Patients with brain tumors, thyroid cancers, and bone tumors had received radiotherapy close to the tumor site more often than expected. For patients with breast cancer, no such difference was found. For cancers of the breast and thyroid, the RR was higher in patients given more than one treatment.

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