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Title: Histologic characteristics of skin cancer in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: background incidence and radiation effects.
Authors: Kishikawa M,  Koyama K,  Iseki M,  Kobuke T,  Yonehara S,  Soda M,  Ron E,  Tokunaga M,  Preston DL,  Mabuchi K,  Tokuoka S
Journal: Int J Cancer
Date: 2005 Nov 10
Branches: REB
PubMed ID: 15900592
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: Skin cancers, though rare in Japan, have reportedly been on the rise, but little else is known about epidemiologic features of different histologic types of skin cancer. The Life Span Study cohort, which consists of 93,700 atomic-bomb survivors, many of whom were exposed to negligibly low radiation doses, and 26,600 people not exposed to radiation, enables a population-based study of spontaneous as well as radiation-related cancer risk. Skin tumor incident cases diagnosed between 1958 and 1987 were ascertained by linkage to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tumor registries augmented by searches of other data sources. Study pathologists reviewed tumor specimens and pathology reports and classified tumors using the World Health Organization classification scheme. They identified 274 primary incident skin cancers, of which 106 were basal cell carcinoma (BCC), 81 were squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 14 were malignant melanomas. Background incidence rates and radiation effects were assessed by Poisson regression models allowing for the effects of demographic and other covariates. BCC and SCC background incidence rates were both about 3 per 100,000 per year. BCCs were mainly on the head/neck (81%), whereas SCCs occurred most frequently on the arms/legs (45%) and head/neck (29%), consistent with the presumed role played by solar UV exposure in skin cancer. The BCC rates increased significantly between 1958 and 1987, whereas the SCC rates remained unchanged. The excess absolute risk of BCC per unit skin surface area related to atomic-bomb radiation exposure did not differ between UV-exposed and shielded parts of the body, suggesting the additivity of the radiation-related and background BCC risks.