Could radiation therapy create new foci of cancer as a result of radioactivity? How big is this risk?

Could radiation therapy create new foci of cancer as a result of radioactivity? How big is this risk?

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answers (3)

Answer 1
June, 2021

No, this is not possible. This is not the same as putting you under an active emitter or in the reactor compartment of a submarine☺. They don't keep fools there. It is precisely because they are not there that radio activity is no joke. It is almost impossible to excuse something because the dose of exposure is calculated and you are constantly monitored. You can get more crap if you walk around for days with your phone and headphones in your ears.

Answer 2
June, 2021

Hello, Eugene!

The risk of developing a second malignant tumor, indeed, exists . However, firstly, the risk of developing such is very low , secondly, it takes a long time before their development ( from 10 years ), thirdly, technical the perfection of radiation therapy reduces the risk of their development. In the previous stages of the development of radiation therapy, the possibility of developing radio-induced cancer was higher than today.

Radiation therapy is now relatively safe and has a number of advantages compared to surgery or chemotherapy. The new devices make it possible to bring the ionizing radiation beam directly to the tumor as accurately as possible. At the same time, healthy tissues are damaged to a much lesser extent than a tumor, due to which the risk of complications and side effects is significantly reduced. However, despite the sufficient safety, the possibility that radiotherapy will provoke the appearance and growth of malignant tumors remains. This is especially relevant for children and young people , in whose cells the processes of proliferation and reproduction are more active.

Answer 3
June, 2021

Yes, it can. This is a special problem, for example, in the treatment of oncology in children - since the probability of successful treatment is quite high and, accordingly, life expectancy is also high, the problem of secondary oncology later in life becomes very relevant.

The risk is very difficult to establish, since it is not always clear what exactly causes the cancer. Several types of cancer share the same risk factors. For example, smoking increases the risk of cancer of the larynx, but also cancer of the mouth, esophagus and lungs, so it is difficult to determine if a new tumor, for example, the esophagus, is caused by radiation therapy for laryngeal cancer, or the same smoking (this is of course a rough example, since in reality, risk factors have a cumulative effect).

The risk also depends on the dose, duration of therapy, the age of the patient and the area of ​​the area that was exposed to radiation. Secondary tumors appear years later. The risk of developing secondary oncology within 30 years after radiotherapy for the treatment of medulloblastoma (brain tumor) in children is estimated at 30%.

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