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Comment: Radionuclide Carcinogenesis and Sinus Carcinoma

Philip Rubin, MD
JAMA. 1972;219(3):354-355. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190290048015.
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Radiation-induced tumors (ie, osteogenic sarcomas or leukemias) relate more to the ingestion or injection of radioactive materials than they do to exposure to external radiation sources. However, the most common cancers induced by radionuclides are cancers about the paranasal sinuses. Human experience with radionuclide carcinogenesis is popularly related to radium dial painters who unwittingly ingested significant amounts of radium while wetting their brushes with the luminescent radium paint. Now, patients receiving radium salts, intravenously, persons drinking various radioactive nostrums, and chemists inhaling compounds during work are also included in this category. With the advent of the atomic era, concern with late induction neoplasms after exposure to radioactive materials has understandably increased. A large number of experimental and practical investigations into the neoplastic effects of bone seeking radionuclides have been carefully recorded.45

The dosimetry of radionuclides deposited in bones is a complex problem. Calculation of various concentrations of radium and


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