Cancer risks among radiologists and radiologic technologists: review of epidemiologic studies

Radiology. 2004 Nov;233(2):313-21. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2332031119. Epub 2004 Sep 16.


Radiologists and radiologic technologists were among the earliest occupational groups exposed to ionizing radiation and represent a large segment of the working population exposed to radiation from human-made sources. The authors reviewed epidemiologic data on cancer risks from eight cohorts of over 270,000 radiologists and technologists in various countries. The most consistent finding was increased mortality due to leukemia among early workers employed before 1950, when radiation exposures were high. This, together with an increasing risk of leukemia with increasing duration of work in the early years, provided evidence of an excess risk of leukemia associated with occupational radiation exposure in that period. While findings on several types of solid cancers were less consistent, several studies provided evidence of a radiation effect for breast cancer and skin cancer. To date, there is no clear evidence of an increased cancer risk in medical radiation workers exposed to current levels of radiation doses. However, given a relatively short period of time for which the most recent workers have been followed up and in view of the increasing uses of radiation in modern medical practices, it is important to continue to monitor the health status of medical radiation workers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Radiology*
  • Technology, Radiologic*