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Can radiation therapy cause cancer?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ramji Rajendran
Radiation Oncology
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Ramji Rajendran
Dr. Ramji Rajendran
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