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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34

Strategies to prevent the emergence of radiation-induced malignancies

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission23-Aug-2015
Date of Acceptance29-Oct-2015
Date of Web Publication08-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2008-7802.175993

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strategies to prevent the emergence of radiation-induced malignancies. Int J Prev Med 2016;7:34

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strategies to prevent the emergence of radiation-induced malignancies. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 3];7:34. Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2016/7/1/34/175993

Dear Editor ,

Radiations are categorized as ionizing radiation (viz., alpha particle, beta particles, neutrons, etc.,) and nonionizing radiation (viz., infrared, microwaves, radio waves, etc.,) based on their ability/inability to liberate electrons from atoms or molecules. [1],[2] Humans are generally exposed to both natural and man-made sources of radiation during the course of their lives. [1],[2] Although radiation has definitive applications in fields such as medicine, industry, and research, it remains a major cause of health concern if not properly used. [1],[3]

Multiple adverse consequences, such as acute events (such as skin burns and local radiation injuries); malignancy; congenital anomalies; and even death, have been reported in cases of exposure to radiations beyond the permissible limits. [1],[2],[3] Furthermore, subsequent to a nuclear accident, a remarkable rise in the incidence of psychological distress and psychiatric conditions (such as posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, and alcohol abuse) have been observed among the survivors. [4],[5] However, attributes such as age at the time of exposure, type of radiation, radiation dose, exposure duration, and sensitivity of tissues/organs, eventually determine the extent of radiation-induced damage. [1],[6],[7]

It has been observed that incidence of radiation-induced malignancy/complications is still on the rise in heterogeneous settings, because of the presentation of clinical symptoms after a long interval; poor awareness among general population about the sources or side effects of radiation; limited orientation of medical students about assessment of radiation exposure; the absence or poor quality of protective devices in industries; nonutilization of the protective equipments despite their availability; no uniformity in the preplacement examination or regular health check-up; lack of infrastructure to enable early diagnosis; and limited access to information about supportive care services. [1],[3],[5]

To address the above-mentioned challenges and thus bring about a significant reduction in the incidence of radiation associated malignancy, there is a crucial need that policy makers should explore all possible sources of radiation exposure, and then develop interventions in coordination with different stakeholders. [1],[5] These strategies include promoting thorough risk assessment among the exposed persons; [4] developing a model to establish a relationship between time since exposure/age at exposure to radiation-induced malignancy; [7] advocating implementation of appropriate preventive strategies in the industries; [3] sensitizing physicians, population, and health professionals about radiation-induced malignancies; [3] developing guidelines to ensure standardized case management based on the exposed dose of radiation and patient-related variables; [8] establishing a mechanism to ensure follow-up of at-risk populations to encourage early detection and prompt initiation of specific treatment; [4],[8] building a strategic plan to enable preparedness, evacuation and relocation of people at times of any nuclear accident; [4],[5] and fostering linkages with international organizations to strengthen the overall system. [1]

In conclusion, both ionizing and nonionizing radiations have been attributed to the causation of multiple cancers. Thus, it is the responsibility of the policy makers and other stakeholders to work in collaboration to eventually reduce the contribution of radiation on the development of malignancies.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Ionizing Radiation, Health Effects and Protective Measures - Fact Sheet No. 371; 2012. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs371/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Apr 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
He JX, Zhou W, Qiu HL, Yang GT. Investigation of non-ionizing radiation hazards from physiotherapy equipment in 16 medical institutions. Zhonghua Lao Dong Wei Sheng Zhi Ye Bing Za Zhi 2013;31:900-1.  Back to cited text no. 2
Park K, editor. Occupational health. In: Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine. 23 rd ed. Jabalpur: Banarsidas Bhanot Publishers; 2015. p. 808-19.  Back to cited text no. 3
Hasegawa A, Tanigawa K, Ohtsuru A, Yabe H, Maeda M, Shigemura J, et al. Health effects of radiation and other health problems in the aftermath of nuclear accidents, with an emphasis on Fukushima. Lancet 2015;386:479-88.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ishikawa T, Yasumura S, Ozasa K, Kobashi G, Yasuda H, Miyazaki M, et al. The Fukushima health management survey: Estimation of external doses to residents in Fukushima prefecture. Sci Rep 2015;5:12712.  Back to cited text no. 5
Tanooka H. Dose rate dependence of radiation cancer risk as measured by non-tumor dose. Health Phys 2011;100:304-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
Gordon D, Gillgren P, Eloranta S, Olsson H, Gordon M, Hansson J, et al. Time trends in incidence of cutaneous melanoma by detailed anatomical location and patterns of ultraviolet radiation exposure: A retrospective population-based study. Melanoma Res 2015;25:348-56.  Back to cited text no. 7
World Health Organization. Cancer Prevention; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Apr 19].b  Back to cited text no. 8


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