A 29-year-old member asked:
Doesn't radiation therapy increase cancer cell growth?
3 doctor answers • 5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lee Pedersonanswered
General Surgery 29 years experience
Not really: When given appropiately, radiation helps with local control. Keeping the tumor from recurring where it started). But yes exposure to radiation can be a cause for second cancers-( tho rare) most commonly sarcomas in the area of the radiated tissue).
5.7k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Dr. Ed Friedlander commented
Pathology 46 years experience
This is an excellent answer. It is paradoxical -- most cancer cells are fragile and are killed more readily than healthy cells by radiation, but radiation also mutates normal cells and increases cancer risk. Despite the paradox, radiation is a tremendous help to many people with cancer.
Jul 19, 2012
Dr. Brian Lawendaanswered
Radiation Oncology 26 years experience
Yes, it can...but: This is a phenomenon known as "accelerated repopulation." radiation biologists have taught us that we can compensate for this increased cell growth rate with various techniques: higher total doses, multiple doses per day, greater daily dose intensity and/or the use of concurrent chemotherapy.
5.4k viewsAnswered >2 years ago
Dr. Sanford Katzanswered
Radiation Oncology 28 years experience
Not necessarily : It would be extremely unlikely to occur
4k viewsAnswered >2 years agoMerged
A 46-year-old member asked:
Do radiation therapy increase cancer cell growth of other undetected types of cancer?
2 doctor answers • 3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Turrisianswered
Radiation Oncology 49 years experience
Low doses of: Diagnostic radiation (like mammograms, chest x-rays) may be exceedingly rare causes. We know that XRT for hodgkin's in young woemn led to excessive risk of breast and lung cancer, and we now use it more sparingly and to lower volume and doses if at all. Even low doses for children to prevent brain relapse in leukemia has been linked to excess brain tumors. But second tumors do not occur in all.
5.8k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
A 41-year-old member asked:
Can radiation therapy cause cancer?
1 doctor answer • 3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ramji Rajendrananswered
Radiation Oncology 18 years experience
Secondary Cancer: Radiation does cause cancer, but is also used to treat cancer in radiation oncology. The best data for this is from children treated with radiation and followed closely for many years. The data can be murky with other causes of cancer. However, in general, the risk of secondary malignancy is much less than 1% can take up to 20 years to develop. The benefit of radiation far outweighs this risk.
4.9k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Last updated Jun 10, 2014
People also asked
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $44!
50% off with $19/month membership
Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.