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Cancer incidence in the U.S. radiologic technologists health study, 1983–1998†
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2003
Published 2003 by the American Cancer Society
Volume 97, Issue 12, pages 3080–3089, 15 June 2003
How to Cite
Sigurdson, A. J., Doody, M. M., Rao, R. S., Freedman, D. M., Alexander, B. H., Hauptmann, M., Mohan, A. K., Yoshinaga, S., Hill, D. A., Tarone, R., Mabuchi, K., Ron, E. and Linet, M. S. (2003), Cancer incidence in the U.S. radiologic technologists health study, 1983–1998. Cancer, 97: 3080–3089. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11444
This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.
- Issue published online: 29 MAY 2003
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 MAR 2003
- Manuscript Revised: 7 MAR 2003
- Manuscript Received: 21 DEC 2002
- National Cancer Institute. Grant Numbers: NO1-CP-15673, NO1-CP-51016, NO2-CP-81005, NO2-CP-81121
- National Institutes of Health
- United States Public Health Service
- risk factors
Workers exposed to low doses of radiation can provide information regarding cancer risks that are of public concern. However, characterizing risk at low doses requires large populations and ideally should include a large proportion of women, both of which rarely are available.
Among 90,305 radiologic technologists in the U.S. (77% women) who were followed during 1983–1998, data concerning incident cancer occurrence was obtained from mailed questionnaires and from death records. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were computed using age-specific, gender-specific, race-specific, and calendar year-specific cancer rates from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.
The SIR for all cancers in both genders combined was 1.04 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.00–1.07; n = 3292 technologists). Female technologists had an elevated risk for all solid tumors combined (SIR = 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02–1.10; n = 2168 women) and for breast cancers (SIR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.09–1.23; n = 970 women), melanoma (SIR = 1.66; 95% CI, 1.43–1.89; n = 181 women), and thyroid cancers (SIR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.24–1.83; n = 107 women). Male technologists experienced a decreased risk for solid tumors (SIR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.85–0.98; n = 755 men); however, melanoma (SIR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.00–1.79; n = 56 men) and thyroid cancers (SIR = 2.23; 95% CI, 1.29–3.59; n = 17 men) were increased. Among both genders, the risks were decreased for buccal cavity/pharyngeal cancers (SIR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55–0.90; n = 54 technologists), rectal cancers (SIR = 0.62; 95% CI 0.48–0.76; n = 53 technologists), and lung cancers (SIR = 0.77, 95% CI, 0.70–0.85; n = 307 technologists).
The elevated risk for breast cancer may have been related to occupational radiation exposure. The observed excesses of melanoma and thyroid cancers may reflect, at least in part, earlier detection among medical workers with easy access to health care. Cancer 2003;97:3080–9. © 2003 American Cancer Society.