The risk of cancer attributable to diagnostic medical radiation: Estimation for France in 2015

Publié le 8 December 2018
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

Although medical ionizing radiation (IR) has clear clinical benefits, it is an established carcinogen. This study estimates the number of new cancer cases in France in 2015 attributable to IR exposure from medical procedures. Exposures from external (X-rays, CT scans, interventional radiology) and internal (nuclear medicine) sources were considered. We used 2007 national frequencies of diagnostic examinations by sex and age to estimate the lifetime organ dose exposure adjusted for changes in the use of such procedures over time. The Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII risk models were used to estimate the corresponding excess cancer risk, assuming an average latency period of 10 years. Additionally, we used cancer incidence data from the French Cancer Registries Network. Of the 346,000 estimated new cancer cases in adults in France in 2015, 2,300 cases (940 among men and 1,360 among women) were attributable to diagnostic IR, representing 0.7% of all new cancer cases (0.5% for men and 0.9% for women). The leading cancers attributable to medical IR were female breast (n=560 cases), lung (n=500 cases), and colon (n=290 cases) cancers. Compared with other risk factors, the contribution of medical IR to the cancer burden is small, and the benefits largely outweigh its harms. However, some of these IR-associated cancer cases may be preventable through dose optimization of and enhanced justification for diagnostic examinations.

Auteur : Marant-Micallef Claire, Shield Kevin D, Vignat Jérôme, Cléro Enora, Kesminiene Ausrele, Hill Catherine, Rogel Agnès, Vacquier Blandine, Bray Freddie, Laurier Dominique, Soerjomataram Isabelle
International Journal of Cancer, 2018, p. 1-27