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      Solid Cancer Incidence in Atomic Bomb Survivors: 1958–1998

      , , , , , , ,

      Radiation Research

      Radiation Research Society

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          Abstract

          This is the second general report on radiation effects on the incidence of solid cancers (cancers other than malignancies of the blood or blood-forming organs) among members of the Life Span Study (LSS) cohort of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors. The analyses were based on 17,448 first primary cancers (including non-melanoma skin cancer) diagnosed from 1958 through 1998 among 105,427 cohort members with individual dose estimates who were alive and not known to have had cancer prior to 1958. Radiation-associated relative risks and excess rates were considered for all solid cancers as a group, for 19 specific cancer sites or groups of sites, and for five histology groups. Poisson regression methods were used to investigate the magnitude of the radiation-associated risks, the shape of the dose response, how these risks vary with gender, age at exposure, and attained age, and the evidence for inter-site variation in the levels and patterns of the excess risk. For all solid cancers as a group, it was estimated that about 850 (about 11%) of the cases among cohort members with colon doses in excess of 0.005 Gy were associated with atomic bomb radiation exposure. The data were consistent with a linear dose response over the 0- to 2-Gy range, while there was some flattening of the dose response at higher doses. Furthermore, there is a statistically significant dose response when analyses were limited to cohort members with doses of 0.15 Gy or less. The excess risks for all solid cancers as a group and many individual sites exhibit significant variation with gender, attained age, and age at exposure. It was estimated that, at age 70 after exposure at age 30, solid cancer rates increase by about 35% per Gy (90% CI 28%; 43%) for men and 58% per Gy (43%; 69%) for women. For all solid cancers as a group, the excess relative risk (ERR per Gy) decreases by about 17% per decade increase in age at exposure (90% CI 7%; 25%) after allowing for attained-age effects, while the ERR decreased in proportion to attained age to the power 1.65 (90% CI 2.1; 1.2) after allowing for age at exposure. Despite the decline in the ERR with attained age, excess absolute rates appeared to increase throughout the study period, providing further evidence that radiation-associated increases in cancer rates persist throughout life regardless of age at exposure. For all solid cancers as a group, women had somewhat higher excess absolute rates than men (F:M ratio 1.4; 90% CI 1.1; 1.8), but this difference disappears when the analysis was restricted to non-gender-specific cancers. Significant radiation-associated increases in risk were seen for most sites, including oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, colon, liver, lung, non-melanoma skin, breast, ovary, bladder, nervous system and thyroid. Although there was no indication of a statistically significant dose response for cancers of the pancreas, prostate and kidney, the excess relative risks for these sites were also consistent with that for all solid cancers as a group. Dose-response estimates for cancers of the rectum, gallbladder and uterus were not statistically significant, and there were suggestions that the risks for these sites may be lower than those for all solid cancers combined. However, there was emerging evidence from the present data that exposure as a child may increase risks of cancer of the body of the uterus. Elevated risks were seen for all of the five broadly classified histological groups considered, including squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, other epithelial cancers, sarcomas and other non-epithelial cancers. Although the data were limited, there was a significant radiation-associated increase in the risk of cancer occurring in adolescence and young adulthood. In view of the persisting increase in solid cancer risks, the LSS should continue to provide important new information on radiation exposure and solid cancer risks for at least another 15 to 20 years.

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          Most cited references 96

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          Global cancer statistics, 2002.

           D Parkin,  F Bray,  J Ferlay (2005)
          Estimates of the worldwide incidence, mortality and prevalence of 26 cancers in the year 2002 are now available in the GLOBOCAN series of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The results are presented here in summary form, including the geographic variation between 20 large "areas" of the world. Overall, there were 10.9 million new cases, 6.7 million deaths, and 24.6 million persons alive with cancer (within three years of diagnosis). The most commonly diagnosed cancers are lung (1.35 million), breast (1.15 million), and colorectal (1 million); the most common causes of cancer death are lung cancer (1.18 million deaths), stomach cancer (700,000 deaths), and liver cancer (598,000 deaths). The most prevalent cancer in the world is breast cancer (4.4 million survivors up to 5 years following diagnosis). There are striking variations in the risk of different cancers by geographic area. Most of the international variation is due to exposure to known or suspected risk factors related to lifestyle or environment, and provides a clear challenge to prevention.
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            Studies of mortality of atomic bomb survivors. Report 13: Solid cancer and noncancer disease mortality: 1950-1997.

            This continues the series of general reports on mortality in the cohort of atomic bomb survivors followed up by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation. This cohort includes 86,572 people with individual dose estimates, 60% of whom have doses of at least 5 mSv. We consider mortality for solid cancer and for noncancer diseases with 7 additional years of follow-up. There have been 9,335 deaths from solid cancer and 31,881 deaths from noncancer diseases during the 47-year follow-up. Of these, 19% of the solid cancer and 15% of the noncancer deaths occurred during the latest 7 years. We estimate that about 440 (5%) of the solid cancer deaths and 250 (0.8%) of the noncancer deaths were associated with the radiation exposure. The excess solid cancer risks appear to be linear in dose even for doses in the 0 to 150-mSv range. While excess rates for radiation-related cancers increase throughout the study period, a new finding is that relative risks decline with increasing attained age, as well as being highest for those exposed as children as noted previously. A useful representative value is that for those exposed at age 30 the solid cancer risk is elevated by 47% per sievert at age 70. There is no significant city difference in either the relative or absolute excess solid cancer risk. Site-specific analyses highlight the difficulties, and need for caution, in distinguishing between site-specific relative risks. These analyses also provide insight into the difficulties in interpretation and generalization of LSS estimates of age-at-exposure effects. The evidence for radiation effects on noncancer mortality remains strong, with risks elevated by about 14% per sievert during the last 30 years of follow-up. Statistically significant increases are seen for heart disease, stroke, digestive diseases, and respiratory diseases. The noncancer data are consistent with some non-linearity in the dose response owing to the substantial uncertainties in the data. There is no direct evidence of radiation effects for doses less than about 0.5 Sv. While there are no statistically significant variations in noncancer relative risks with age, age at exposure, or sex, the estimated effects are comparable to those seen for cancer. Lifetime risk summaries are used to examine uncertainties of the LSS noncancer disease findings.
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              Population attributable risks of esophageal and gastric cancers.

              Several risk factors have been identified for esophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma, but no study has comprehensively examined their contributions to the cancer burden in the general population. Herein, we estimate the population attributable risks (PARs) for various risk factors observed in a multicenter population-based case-control study. We calculated PARs by using 293 patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma, 261 with gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, 221 with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, 368 with noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma, and 695 control subjects. We included smoking for all four tumor types and Helicobacter pylori infection for noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma as established causal risk factors as well as several other factors for which causality is under evaluation. Ever smoking, body mass index above the lowest quartile, history of gastroesophageal reflux, and low fruit and vegetable consumption accounted for 39.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 25.6% to 55.8%), 41.1% (95% CI = 23.8% to 60.9%), 29.7% (95% CI = 19.5% to 42.3%), and 15.3% (95% CI = 5.8% to 34.6%) of esophageal adenocarcinomas, respectively, with a combined PAR of 78.7% (95% CI = 66.5% to 87.3%). Ever smoking and body mass index above the lowest quartile were responsible for 45.2% (95% CI = 31.3% to 59.9%) and 19.2% (95% CI = 4.9% to 52.0%) of gastric cardia adenocarcinomas, respectively, with a combined PAR of 56.2% (95% CI = 38.1% to 72.8%). Ever smoking, alcohol consumption, and low fruit and vegetable consumption accounted for 56.9% (95% CI = 36.6% to 75.1%), 72.4% (95% CI = 53.3% to 85.8%), and 28.7% (95% CI = 11.1% to 56.5%) of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas, respectively, with a combined PAR of 89.4% (95% CI = 79.1% to 95.0%). Ever smoking, history of gastric ulcers, nitrite intake above the lowest quartile, and H. pylori infection were responsible for 18.3% (95% CI = 6.5% to 41.8%), 9.7% (95% CI = 5.4% to 16.8%), 40.7% (95% CI = 23.4% to 60.7%), and 10.4% (95% CI = 0.3% to 79.6%) of noncardia gastric adenocarcinomas, respectively, with a combined PAR of 59.0% (95% CI = 16.2% to 91.4%). In this population, a few known risk factors account for a majority of esophageal and gastric cancers. These results suggest that the incidence of these cancers may be decreased by reducing the prevalence of smoking, gastroesophageal reflux, and being overweight and by increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Radiation Research
                Radiation Research
                Radiation Research Society
                0033-7587
                1938-5404
                July 2007
                July 2007
                : 168
                : 1
                : 1-64
                Article
                10.1667/RR0763.1
                17722996
                © 2007
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