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Cancer Causes Control. 1998 Aug;9(4):393-401.

Skin tumor risk among atomic-bomb survivors in Japan.

Author information

1
Radiation Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Elevated risks of skin cancer following high doses of ionizing radiation have long been known. Recent reports on atomic-bomb survivors indicate that nonmelanoma skin cancer can be induced at low to medium doses. We studied atomic-bomb survivors to determine the effects of radiation on specific histologic types of skin cancer and to describe the dose-response relationship.

METHODS:

Cases of melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancers, and Bowen's disease were ascertained between 1958 and 1987 for the 80,000 cohort members through the population-based Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan) tumor registries augmented by searches of other records.

RESULTS:

An excess of basal cell carcinoma (n = 80), with some suggestion of a non-linear dose-response, was observed. The excess risk decreased markedly as age at exposure increased, and there was no evidence for an interaction between ionizing and ultraviolet radiation. No dose-response was found for squamous cell carcinoma (n = 69). The excess relative risk point-estimates were large, but statistically nonsignificant for both melanoma (n = 10) and Bowen's disease (n = 26).

CONCLUSIONS:

The basal layer of the epidermis appears to be quite sensitive to radiation carcinogenesis, particularly at a young age. The suprabasal layer seems to be more resistant, as shown by the lack of an association for squamous cell carcinomas.

PMID:
9794171
DOI:
10.1023/a:1008867617415
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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