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    Types of Cancer Linked to Ionizing Radiation (Radiation Meters)


    by radiationprotection


    Ionizing radiation increases the risk of certain types of cancer more than others.

    The thyroid gland and bone marrow are particularly sensitive to radiation. Leukemia, a type of cancer that arises in the bone marrow, is the most common radiation-induced cancer. Leukemias may appear as early as a few years after radiation exposure.

    Other types of cancer can also result from radiation exposure, although they may take longer to develop (usually at least 10 to 15 years). Some of the other cancers most strongly linked to radiation exposure in studies include:

    Lung cancer
    Skin cancer
    Thyroid cancer
    Multiple myeloma
    Breast cancer
    Stomach cancer
    These are not necessarily the only cancer types that may be linked to radiation, however.

    The types of cancer linked to radiation are also affected by the part of the body that is exposed. For example, people who get pelvic radiation therapy would not be expected to have higher rates of cancers in the head and neck because these areas weren't exposed to radiation.

    Other factors may also play a role in how likely a person exposed to radiation is to develop cancer. Age is one such factor - children's growing bodies are more sensitive to radiation than adults. A person may also have gene changes that make their cells more vulnerable to radiation damage, which might in turn raise their risk more than in someone without these gene changes.