Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Joanne H. Lim
Through many years of research and scientific studies, researchers have found that radiation is a carcinogen. The three most common forms of radiation that are seen in clinical settings include alpha radiation, beta radiation, and gamma radiation. Although some types of radiation such as X-ray are important in diagnosing possible cancer sites, too much of it can cause cancer. The primary damage caused by radiation is to the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)—the genetic materials of living cells. Thus, to lower the risk of radiation-induced cancer, people need to be more aware of the kinds of radiation that they can become exposed to. There have been many past incidents that indicate that radiation can cause cancer. Most of the data come from people who have inadvertently been exposed to various types of radiation in the past. As part of his discussion on radiation carcinogenesis, Steven B. Oppenheimer explained that the incidence of ...