Special Issue "Radiation and Cancer Risk"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2012)
Ionizing radiation is a known cause of cancer. Exposure arises from natural sources such as cosmic, gamma, internal radiation or radon, as well as from artificial sources such as medical radiation received for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes and environmental and occupational exposures. Indoor radon is the major natural source and, while being an established cause of lung cancer, some uncertainty remains for its role in other cancers like childhood leukemia. Keeping in mind the clear benefits of ionizing radiation for medical purposes, unnecessary exposures should be avoided; with the increase in the use of for instance computer tomography this becomes a topical issue. Indeed diagnostic radiation has recently been estimated to cause approximately 2% of cancers in developed countries. Further, with a growing population of cancer survivors, many of whom were treated with radiotherapy, radiation-induced secondary malignancies are an increasing concern. As for optical radiation, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from artificial sources poses a major risk for skin cancer. Non-ionising radiation, on the other hand, is suspected to increase the risk of certain cancers, but the epidemiological data are so far inconsistent and there are at present no convincing hypotheses concerning the biological mechanisms for a causal association with cancer. This range of the radiation spectrum includes radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, e.g. during cell phone use, and extremely low frequency magnetic fields such as from high-voltage power lines and other electric installations.
Given the ubiquity of radiation exposure and the uncertainty in cancer risk associated with low dose ionizing radiation and with non-ionizing radiation, this special issue aims at encouraging reviews and recent original results for a better understanding of cancers attributable to radiation exposure, with a view to improve action for cancer prevention. Review articles summarizing the current state of knowledge and its uncertainties, with suggestions for the research agenda in radiation research, are particularly encouraged. Equally, I welcome articles from under-researched areas of the world, including those describing radiation sources and their potential impact on the local cancer burden.
I look forward to receiving your innovative contributions that will combine in a special issue to give a broad overview of our knowledge on radiation and cancer risk.
Dr. Joachim Schüz