Medical Radiation Exposure and Human Carcinogenesis-Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms

Dincer Y. , Sezgin Z.

BIOMEDICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, cilt.27, sa.9, ss.718-728, 2014 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Derleme
  • Cilt numarası: 27 Konu: 9
  • Basım Tarihi: 2014
  • Doi Numarası: 10.3967/bes2014.106
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.718-728


Ionizing radiation (IR) is a potential carcinogen. Evidence for the carcinogenic effect of IR radiation has been shown after long-term animal investigations and observations on survivors of the atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, IR has been widely used in a controlled manner in the medical imaging for diagnosis and monitoring of various diseases and also in cancer therapy. The collective radiation dose from medical imagings has increased six times in the last two decades, and grow continuously day to day. A large number of evidence has revealed the increased cancer risk in the people who had frequently exposed to x-rays, especially in childhood. It has also been shown that secondary malignancy may develop within the five years in cancer survivors who have received radiotherapy, because of IR-mediated damage to healthy cells. In this article, we review the current knowledge about the role of medical x-ray exposure in cancer development in humans, and recently recognized epigenetic mechanisms in IR-induced carcinogenesis.