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Ionising radiation

Environmental Radioactivity - Medicine - Occupational Radiation Protection - Nuclear Hazards Defence

Ionisierende Strahlung

Cancer and leukaemia

Ionising radiation can cause cancer and leukaemias. Both types of disease belong to the malignant neoplasms. Whereas cancer includes malignant neoplasms affecting an organ, leukaemia is a disease of the blood-forming system that has an effect on the whole organism. Much the same applies to lymphomas, malignant neoplasms of the lymphatic system which also affect the whole organism.

Aetiology of childhood leukaemia

Cancer may occur spontaneously, but can also be induced by genetic predisposition, lifestyle (especially diet) and environmental (chemical, physical or biological) impacts. Environmental risk factors have long been known for many types of tumours (e.g. lung cancer from cigarette smoke, skin cancer from UV, genital tumours from tumour viruses). In contrast to this, knowledge about environmental risk factors for childhood leukaemia is unsatisfactory and characterised by little progress.

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